So much bloom and naked dawn, stalk of yellow hair and slender arc of back, / your small figure a leaf, rain soaked and splendid, surrounded by bellflowers // and toadflax, thistle and jewelweed, touch-me-not yellow. You raise your hands, / turn on a heel, and shake into blossom.
Soft the curve of her neck like soft-blown glass, / the whoosh of a mare’s tail / whipping air into shape like the wind. / I dreamt our daughter into a red farmhouse— // rain softly falling, making the farmhouse and its horses / glisten like an objet d’art in a stranger’s hand.
I thumb my choices–hibiscus sachets, / envelopes of rooibos, earl grey tins– / as the ceramic pot and baby steam and screech. / Tea will find our morning / in this month of nights.
She darkened the side of the road. / A shadow in dust and gravel. // My son is three. / Full of speed and plans— / He loves to run. / And sometimes it’s into the road. // I have shouted, then screamed. / Pleaded, then threatened. / Still he runs into parking lots, / across the street to the park, / to our mailbox down the middle of the road.
Even as cubs, my granddaughters / guard me, though they know no grief / or brokenness, no empty house jangling, / tap at death’s gate. They preen their pelts, / crouch on ready haunches in halogen glare— / the unstoppable traffic, intentional swerve, / sweet dish of poison.
It’s the wagon that the women ride, always on the left, / and it moves in a cycle that has no end, one turn of / the wheel bleeding into the next until the axle rusts. / Even then, we persist, desperate to fix the hum in / our home that has broken, hearing beside us the drone of / all those other lives that have ridden into the sunlight despite the odds.
Nicole S. Piasecki
Keep cold the loaded syringe / family gun in white box / near egg white cartons / stamped carton contents set to expire…
The house empties, / its lungs heave, / air seeps from spaces we were supposed to fill. / This unfolding of an absence, / slow in the way morning slips / through the skylight, cradles my body.
A baby blackbird hops madly at the base of an oak / unable to get lift. It lurches from tree to tree, / desperately.
I go / often in my dreams / to be cradled, rocked by the wind / whipping into the pines / filtering itself through the soft, green / needles. The sun here is welcoming / but never warm.
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