He leaves a quarter on bed sheets
and say thanks for the Sunday schooling.
She has always preferred curling ears around his tales
to using fingers and tongue to spin her own.
Her hand presses to vacant mattress
searching for remnants of warmth.
He has taken all of summer with him
and despite suggestions she trims her hair
instead of allowing him to weave inside and drag her off.
Solemnity settles in the back of throat.
She spreads her pavement over feet,
solidifying stump to floorboards.
This is her home.
Fastened to this place in patient stubbornness,
she turns lonely as the seasons
pop their joints and reposition their wrists.
The quickening of wind,
slap of branch to window,
yelp of swinging gate,
a collection of relics resembling the way
his legs dart and dash.
There is still a pulse fluttering in neck
that wishes his return.
A chip of bone in inner ear
listening for his knock on the door.
But not all bricks form paths paved in gold,
not everyone is looking to find their way home.
She sinks stagnate,
settled and sliced,
opened up for him to take all he needs,
and leave the rest on beaten trail
to sulk to seeds.
“Hestia” is previously published in They Don’t Make Memories Like That Anymore (2011).
Dismal songs disguise
a world hidden by flowers.
Sun drops fall around
tall plant life made
of candy blue and
which shade children
playing in trees.
As gentle men take
off their hats,
small women grow
to face them,
eye to eye.
Nothing is real
until it can be touched;
nothing truly exists
until it is actualized.
If we left now,
it would be too soon,
so sit here
in the shadow of
daisies and wildflowers
and let the day pass.
Let time fall on and on
the cover of flowers.
“Cover of Flowers” is previously published in A Scattering of Imperfections (2009).
I will not cage
the bluebird you think
I will not follow
feathers to find
the path of your flight.
I do not seek ownership.
I leave food out
in the September night;
it doesn’t matter if
it remains untouched in the morning;
it doesn’t matter if
it is devoured.
“Cage” is previously published in September (2014).
A lighthouse does not shine every day,
only when the fog is thick
and the storm is rough;
once the waves subside, it returns
dormant and dark.
I regret not having this knowledge
the night you stumbled upon my shore.
I realize now how one can leave their home,
yet always keep it with them.
I have learned one can fall madly in love,
yet still keep precious places sacred
for those most dear.
We have become only each other,
like children before the war,
offering momentary reprieve,
then release. The remembrance of a precious home
created in the cup of childhood.
This is how it was suppose to be.
We were not molded for the
hardship of daily existence,
we were created for relief,
for a relapse of innocence,
the comfort of old friends and first loves.
“Ever After” is previously published in Rabbits for Luck (2016).