when we were little,
climbing what looked like
a wooden ladder to us,
we pulled down a shelf
full of mason
jars. kaleidoscope splashes
on the black and white
tile. so many shards of glass,
a couple of tiny, bare feet.
you know how the story ends.
when he was a boy, he worked
his fingers to the bone. his teeth
crooked and his hair wild.
he sold his prize heifer, gold coins in hand,
bought a pair of leather Beatle’s boots.
running through the corn field,
(i want to hold your hand)
he thought he could fly.
when she was young, she talked
to God in the chicken shed. her
face was too pretty for her to stay
safe for long. she fell hard,
threw in with a guy form across the tracks,
they loved too much, too fast.
he was always loosing his shirt
so she had to work
her fingers to the bone. after four
babies and running in the red for way
too long, she threw away her religion
and did what she had to do.
(whisper words of wisdom)
her hair grew, long waves down
her back. her skirts were short-short,
her heart fractured, she
was the broken mirror girl. looking
just the right way you could see
all the secret parts of yourself.
put on your honest eyes and
you can see that the
homecoming queen has wrist scars.
(such a lovely place)
her eyes were ice blue and full of fire.
born in a house, filled to the brim,
she spilled out onto the street.
pick pocket fingers tucked
into the pocket of her pinafore.
sticky fingers made to pull out
sweet treats from the
other kids’ tin lunch boxes.
she fought on the playground,
held her hand to her bleeding ear,
tucked the silver hoop into her sock
so teacher wouldn’t see.
she dreamed of picket fences planted
with purple, pink and peach irises growing.
(i would pick her from the garden)
we sit in the shade, baskets of green beans
at our finger tips, talk, pick-up, snap.
the night cools, inspiring the cicadas
to sing, we share our secrets.
as we tuck the summer away into
(and so it ends, to begin again)