Winter Wind


Looking up at bare limbs stripped clean of leaves on a wintery day

when the wind wailed a prelude for the procession of March,

I saw the trees shift, branches reaching for what they couldn’t hold.

The movement made my feet wonder if we were upright or falling

and my hands replied quickly with a grab to the door frame

to show Gravity we were not her toy, though what the trees were

doing defied all I know of earth’s spin and the nature of wood,

in the same way, I suppose, that Nijinsky defies rigor mortis. 


Dana Hughes  ©  2.29.14

The Prodigal’s Progress

The gasp that should have come when i saw you walking toward me

after all this time of pulling shrapnel from my heart, sweeping pieces

into a pile like dry leaves curling toward a match i couldn’t strike

without burning the you out of us, though we were no more than ash,

blown into drifts beneath the nails where your pictures hung, until i

snatched them down in a fury and put them away where they wouldn’t

be found in boxes in the attic, to the left of the stairs, behind the bins

of lights and baubles that you loved more than presents at Christmas,

when you were small, with the smile that melted me, like the one you

wear now because of the child who has melted you, proving the prodigal

did not return alone, but with a son of his own who surely brought the

old man to his knees, like me on mine, opening my arms with a ragged sigh.


dsh © 2.26.14