full circle.

I have been leaving you out of our story. 
Perhaps I thought you forfeited your claim to grief 
with the soporific deathwish,
waking somnolence of your grave-still body
alive and looking at her anguish
dark curls stuck around her face as white as buried bones
breathing slowly and wishing you weren't.
                                 Lock the door when you leave and don't you dare look back.  

You have no right to pummel the concrete 
until your knuckles shred, or let your screams
echo through the gouged bedroom walls
or weep when you place your grown-up hand
on the hollow cast of tiny stars.

Do not speak to me of loss
when it's you who dragged
your rancorous soul
through the dirt and down the road.

You need to give him credit, she'd say
and I stared down at her shoes
with ziptie laces and holes in the toe.
Felt the immortal bitter swarm
sting my heart
gorged on poison and memory
                                                                                                                   Darling, it's me.
                            Wake up; it's nearly noon and we set you a place at the table.

On the cusp of sixteen, I stopped asking
where you went
why there is (no
between the faceless walls

what happens after
the dear and mighty
fall without trace.

Fear's shadow slept over 
our bodies. Illusory reconcile
cast a strange and sinister light

a discord between
the man who slipped away
and the one standing
like a lighthouse beside my hospital bed.
                                                                                    I have not made this easy for you.

You who touched my nascent brow
before sunlight's exaltation,
who fathered two children and claims four
as his own, the sturdy wire
between fixtures in our constellation;

perhaps she is right,

and I will learn to write the chapters
thrown into the fireplace, edges burned
poignant viscera still legible beneath
ten years of dust and ashes.

There is more to this story than handprints 
on cheekbones, iv drips stabbing our crooked veins,
dark fringe over her eyes like a shroud,
gaunt hours under clinical florescence.
                                                              Dear one, what is it you've done to yourself?

There is also this:
a homemade treehouse and firecrackers, tiaras and satin shoes.
Face paint and mardi gras beads and my dress-up clothes,
flowers blooming in your lapel and in my hair.
We're royals now, looking proud over the peeling balcony.
I am tall as the grass under our second-story feet
my hand enfolded in your palm like a prayer.

                                                                        When you're a kid again, will you come
                                                                                                 with me on the swingset?
                                                                           When I'm your size will we be too big
                                                                                 to remember how the story goes?

We hear her from the kitchen,
back door thrown open to mid-July swelter.

                                                                                                           It's half-past noon.
                                                  Stop dawdling around the yard and come inside.

7 thoughts on “full circle.

    • Oh my goodness I thought I’d replied to your uplifting and thoughtful comment a month ago, but just realized I hadn’t. Thank you very much for your compassionate wish. It’s been a long time, but finally there’s reconcile, and it’s good to be home.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s quite alright! I wrote it for you, not for a reply, though I am honored by that as well! 🙂 I am glad you are home, what a wonderful feeling.


    • Your kind words are a wonderful encouragement, especially as recently I’ve been trying to carve out more time for this craft. Thank you so much!


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