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Lullaby for a Grown Daughter

 

 

Sleep my girl,

place your strawberry-blonde

hair on a pillow.

Dream the sweetest

of dreams, finer

than any sweet gift,

ribboned in pink—

color of the blanket

you were once wrapped in.

I sang to you then

as I sing to you now

over the desert land.

                                                        Published: Liturature Today, Vol. 8,                                                             2018  

 

Aubade

 

 

I was wearing an orange maternity dress

that summer morning, standing at the airport

that would take you to Vietnam.

I wasn’t yet twenty-one.

Our parents never said how foolish we’d been

to marry, having done so themselves

in a time of war. I watched you

go up the steps of the plane,

put on your sunglasses

and turn to wave.

Should I have thought

I might never see you again?

The armor of youth.

I barely remember driving home,

only the comfort of the bed,

the antique dresser with mirrors

across the room. Somewhere someone

was mowing. I knew I should get up

at some point, the baby’s foot

a knot in my stomach.

Outside were lilacs, hollyhocks,

hydrangeas. I could make a bouquet.

But I didn’t.

Night came with its cool air,

air you were flying through.

A small lamp on, a moth at the screen

in its camouflage.    

 

                                                     Publisheld: Haunted Waters Press, 2018

                                                     

 

 

Still Life with Bottles

                                  for my husband

 

                                                                                after Monet, 1859

 

 

Come sit, share the bread with me, spread it with butter, there on the pewter dish.  Pour the wine—we won’t need the carafe of water, but maybe later the apricot brandy the sun is hitting now, spreading its shadow across the table.  Bring cheese, and there are apples in the kitchen in a basket.  Red wine is your favorite, earthy tannins that preserve.  I want to tell you of the new sadness, how the heart can fold like a flower at sunset.  You, who’ve lived with me so long, having studied my face, desired good things for me—lift the bottle and pour, then my lips will taste like yours.  Don’t worry about the white cloth if anything spills, it will wash.  This knife isn’t sharp, just tear the baguette—bread made to last only a day.  Now I can tell you, while all is quiet, the walls surrounding us, making us  close in this small space. 

 

                                                            Yemassee, 2011