Poetry | wisconsinacademy.org
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Poetry

tires screech; mother sleepsblood seeps from my forehead gashbroken windshield glassthen blue and red lights flashacross my mother who can’t walk the lineslap on the cuffs; clipped wings of a dove

          —Hyogo-ken, June 1991

I see youTrying to snip yourselfFree from the clash of fabric patternsOutsize the outline of your fierceand stunning soulCoast be not oceanEdge be not your end

Peer into the satchel of fabricsPlush and darkSoft and unforgiving,Hand to hand, pass stitched and muffled suffering

the day before they found her baby tuckedinto that crawlspace for safekeeping,i sat on the kitchen floor in front of her,just two houses down from my own,knobbed bones of her knees dimpling my back

My brother’s buying some late night drive-thru tacosfinds an empty parking lottakes two bites and starts to choke on his tearsthrows the meat and shells onto cracked concrete.

We dig our father’s grave with a post hole digger.My younger brother jabs the double blade into the dark soil.Across the creek, coyotes yowl to the dusk.We’re not used to hearing them.

Joe takes the dog to the service station;feeds him donuts. Sometimes chocolate frosted.Can’t poison this dog—he’s a Lab.They hang out for awhile,listening to the regulars hold forth from their

Reticent, needs drawing out, Miss Rinehart

scribbled on my sixth-grade report card.

I vowed to never return, but instead

She chops onions dumps themin black beans garnishedwith overcooked porkadds cumin and rosemaryleftover out-of-dateserendipity for the poorlined neatly on the other side

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