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 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