THE UNNOTICED WILLOW
As if a ragged woman’s hair,
Each branch shoots out and
Thrashes about until slowly,
Loosing the battle to gravity.
Her slender figure props itself up with rocks
Where the lady’s slippers get swallowed by the ground.
Plants gather like feral cats.
The wind rubs leaves against each other
Providing a soft lulling saw.
It could be a man building
Or the wings of a moth beating in her ear.
It rained today
I bottled some of it,
Wanted to share it with you.
By the time you are home it will have grown stale.
My hair will have grown long
And no amount of hugging will make this year undo.
I swam in our pond knowing you have gone
And still I looked for signs of the ripples you made
The last time you left the water.
We had silence then,
You said you wanted five minutes
Wanted to freeze them in your mind.
You thought of the leaves that would fall after you left,
The color of sunlight.
I know you didn’t think of me
You didn’t study me, the way you did that pond,
The week you spent leaving.
You felt the current, cold on your ankles
The sinking of mud beneath your feet.
I held onto the dock
On to you
Hoping for support, for solid ground.
I have always been better with pavement,
With noticing the slight change of buildings over time.
I studied you and then,
As if the pond was drained of water.
As if the trees uprooted themselves.
It is as though my heart put down cement
The rain collected in your absence
And I chose my swimming pool
Over this seasonal relationship with you
And a pond I never entered before you.
THE EARLY DRUG
I spent hours spinning in circles on my front lawn
Every summer Sunday I got home from church
Tossed my shoes toward the door
And stood with grass peaking between my toes
Ballerinas are trained to look at one spot
Quickly positioning their focus to prevent dizziness.
As a six year old
Falling down was my goal
I spun until my knees folded
I’d lie, watching the sky keep moving overhead,
My god made kaleidoscope.