It was dark then,
The oaken giant heaving in the wind.
The window broke,
Water like waves
The waves of sound
Long forgotten in eerie tunnels.
They say water can
Can it ever forget?
Our world told
And told by currents
In the bedrock.
They say she was a legend.
Then again, legendary
Only in darkness.
Never come into the light,
The shroud is safer.
Eyes cast at my shadow,
But what do they see?
They thinks it’s me
Across the room.
They think it’s me,
It is a lost shadow
In a place where
Boys don’t cry.
Street lamp glow
And boots in the dark.
All is in shadow,
But nothing is lost.
Until it is gone and
The stage is set.
“The show must go on”
You can see it in their eyes
They can’t help you
Find your shadow,
They only know a you
Painted with sunlight
Dapples and smiling eyes.
This you, is new.
This shadow lingers yet
No one will help you
Until you are crying
On the floor with a
Bar of soap.
The Lady in the Garden
Long strands that wish they could be gray and free, unshackled by you
And your newest ineffable discovery of how to prevent yourself from metamorphosis.
I had to tell you about the baby over the phone So that we could still come over.
The summer garden, caressing me with wild tendrils reaching toward the
Path, blossoming though Fall was poised to consume the bloom.
I remember helping you after they plowed, the smell of wet earth
Exposed. The dirt by the fence. Your cutoff jeans. The tanned
Muscles in those arms working the earth. “I could smell you.”
They said. The boys that wanted to help you work.
The death of the hen Penelope, a dumpster grave.
You love the butterflies. Anticipate their annual presence.
You name the birds, wait for the seasonal ebb and flow of visitors.
Your garden, densely thicketed, boasts promises of food and shelter.
So many plants. And my how you can make them grow, your magic stick opening
The terra womb. I can smell you now, in the garden. You smell the same.
My mother, my motherhood is punctuated by flowers, okra,
Cucumbers. Punctuated by you, the sound of your voice and
That smell. I sing the same songs you once sung, and think of us.
I wonder why someone would want to die, the stench of vomit
On blood stained concrete, sixteen eyes that will never forget.
Remembering is easy, especially those things we try to forget.
Olfactory shackles won’t let go, no matter how much earth stretches between.
Your tanned legs, running. That smell of your hair as you kissed me
In the morning. He said you look like a deer and she hated you for it.
How you needed to be free from those weighted chains, free to run.
I smell you now, even here, even when geography is stretching out
Between us. The waterlogged earth is unfamiliar but I think of you,
And smell that smell. Your musky motherly scent keeps me from forgetting
You amongst petals and beating wings. I see you there, those wiry arms
Stretching, reaching, tucking a gray hair back behind your ear as you prune
Amidst the butterflies, the smells mingle. There are memories fluttering round
As tears fall, watering each petal with a soulful drip. Wings beat soundlessly in
Mild consolation. That smell again. You are there, here. Your wings beating
Soundlessly. You will never stop, and I can offer only momentary solace
A singular embrace, endless love to the Lady in the Garden.