You enter the room where you child self dreamed.
Your dreams have changed but the room has not
The water-stained ceiling has not forgotten how your
salt-caked eyes stared wildly up at its jowls, dazed by
what the day had dealt you, oh so ready to retreat into
your ever expanding skull.
Those walls, those taciturn aunts and uncles, recall
your mirthful mouth making merry after August
birthday thrills and encounters with middle school
The pre-Instagram picture window, alone now as it
was then, reflects on who you were, who you are, and
who you may yet become.
You leave the room where your child self dreamed.
The room has changed but your dreams have not.
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Like an eggshell scrim floating in
front of a leading lady lacquered
in lace, time has blinded her eyes,
shielding hopes of who she might
become from two weathered
apatite irises that shine no more.
Other women, tenacious women,
would rip that flimsy facade from
the rafters, revealing the long
hidden ingenue in all her glory.
But for her, the curtain conquers.
On the night we squeezed hands to say goodbye
the heavens were bruised so deeply
that I thought they wouldn’t heal.
Such a sky I shall never witness again.
The violet whispered of our memories.
The cornflower blue whispered of our sadness.
The indigo whispered of our fears.
The tangerine whispered of our hopes.
The coral whispered of our regrets.
The copper whispered of our pain,
and in those fretful moments before you
flew away into the blinding blackness
the scarlet wept in ecstasy of our love.
Our life, our sweetness, and our hope
do you now walk beneath that faithless sky?
And is there anyone more sorrowful than I?
I have never forgotten how the sky looked as my mother was slipping
away from us. To witness such brilliance in a time of great loss and sadness
is a gift.
Up and up, up the mountain alone,
but not, for the prying sun always
tries to reach me though the stooping
Up and up, I drag my legs to the summit.
Ancient yet ever-young, our mighty friend
greets me with snow streaked shoulders,
delighted that I have made the pilgrimage.
Green tea ice cream, tasted and savored in
memory’s mouth, cannot be found.
Effort must be its own reward.
Down I start and down I stop.
Frost flowers, crouching within the craggy
folds of the mountain side like hermits
hoping to evade the sun’s judgment, listen
with me to an explanation which I can only
Down and down, legs dangerously buoyant,
hopping over rocks that would trip me with indifference.
Faster fellows bounce past me, flying far out of sight.
It is the beginning of the end
as we prepare to return.
A year that I am already forgetting,
the faces, the papers, the poems
and the pain, all fade from memory,
like her voice full of tears…or was
A year of passing, but of passing to
I am no closer, no closer at all.
“Left over right,” is what she said.
“Left over right, or you are dead.”
But, I forgot what I was told
and now my lips are crisp and cold
fearful of the frost
we thrived in summer kilns for
a burnt lavender harvest
slumbers along my slimside
ribs in drowsy dialogue
Holey sweaters, once whole
10-year-old lipstick, once bold
Make no mistake,
what is theirs will be yours.
Fuzz covered coverlet, once clean
Faded pajamas, once teal
not much longer than life.
Costume jewelry, once bright
Family photographs, once nigh
Make no mistake,
What is yours will be theirs.
transfixed by transition,
though some would say death,
golden snow crowns me queen
bare branches, once green, sigh
in freshly understood solitude