Aside

Poem: His Hands in His Pockets

I twiddle that twig we plucked from the tree line,

but I’d sew it on again, the leaves I plucked too,

if the forest would give you back to me.

Do you remember the trees? Remember the birds?

Oh, you loved their song. You so sweetly sang it back to them

when you were alone–but I could hear you as if you were

next to me.

And they miss you; they miss your song–

one bird sits beside me. He sits on that one branch,

his hands in his pockets–silent, searching–

and waits.

Aside

Poem: A Space for Nothing

In the window

of the little toy shop

sits a space for

nothing.

 

The children

play with one toy

and drop it for another,

running here, jumping there–

jumping, jumping–

but only the parents look at the

nothing.

 

The mom and dad listen

to a yesterday’s whisper wrapped

around their tightly wound,

newly woven belt loops.

 

She sees her first doll,

worn and faded, and played with.

He sees his old army men,

the ones the dog got a hold of.

They stare at the nothing,

at the toys of their youth,

while the children

make noises behind them.

Aside

Poem: One of Those Fishing Stories

She sat on a dock, twiddling a hook between

her fingertips,

a silhouette on a backdrop of black,

sketched abstractly by the lustered pinpricks

of a fading daytime.

 

She grasped the fishing pole that sat on her lap,

let go of the hook and watched,

watched,

watched as it flew up,

 

knocking against the star tips and star bits,

bouncing and bumping,

then catching and snagging,

tugging against them, and dropping,

as the stars swam away.

Aside

Poem: Rust-Worn Nuts

There’s a clink-clank between the tracks of an old set,

sat, tucked back, grass-grown and forgotten,

by a man humming a child’s song

and the shape of a spindly, twisted dogwood tree.

 

It’s the candid breeze of nighttime,

a swirled whisper of dewdrops,

woven in with the pink and white bracts

of the treetop nearby, that puts him here now,

tossing rust-worn nuts where the trains ran once.

 

He’s all things, the worst things, and what he was is no more.

Now, crumpled, nothing, and gone, feigned wonder and light

on a backdrop of black, an eddy in the gloom billowing up and out

and away.

 

The train tracks creak under the metal braces upon them.

The man sighs sing-song sounds.

And the trains, what they once were, echo nothings in the nighttime.

Aside

Poem: Do Brown Cows Produce Chocolate Milk?

I slipped on a rock by the ocean

and fell down below the surface,

sinking

slowly

past

seaweed

and

school

fish,

to the silted, still, below.

 

I sat swathed in the dusk

of a bottomed sea,

foaming from the cracks in my skin,

the dark places the water blithely pried into,

like fingers, wriggling, and ripping outward.

 

Up

Up

Are octopi

                                         and whales,

                                                      sharks

and jellyfish,

     seahorses

 

frolicsome in a sunlit drape,

suspended like playthings from worn out

shoestrings–

I sat on the floor in silence.