In my children’s hands, a generous scoop
of hail, tiny crystalline pellets piled
on the sidewalk after a fleeting storm.
They want to pocket them as they would
pebbles or pennies. I tell them not everything
that twinkles can be exchanged for wishes.
Not everything can be saved.
The cricket my daughter finds, flipped
onto its back, legs barely thrashing the air.
She lingers, hoping I’ll take it home.
The viola my son plucked from a tuck
of soil, its breath brisk then shallow
then silent between his pressed fingers.
These moments, trickling away.
They drop their hail, whether from cold
or the prickle of disappointment, I’m not sure.
Elsewhere, terrorists are attempting
to stage a coup in the country I abandoned
years before they were born, hate logos
blazing across their shirts like bullets fired
through a body, like corpses burning
on a pyre. They scale walls, smash windows,
ransack offices, while members of Congress
barricade themselves in rooms with holes
where panic buttons used to be.
How a sky can catch you off guard
in the still of a poem, peeling off its mask,
glaring down at you with eyes full of ice.
I tell my children it’s time to go home.
Which is to say, I want to wrap them
in feathers and lullaby, set them afloat
on a stream of stardust. I want to shield them
from every revolt along the road of their lives,
shelter them from the riot of tears to follow.
What comfort can I provide in a world
spiraling off its axis like a carnival ride
gone awry, where trampled animals
and wilted flower petals and even a sprinkle
of winter magic will, sooner or later,
flow back into the earth’s open mouth?
is the author of The Places We Empty, her debut chapbook forthcoming from
Kelsay Books in July 2021. She was a finalist in Alexandria Quarterly’s
First Line Poetry Contest and a finalist for The Magnolia Review’s Ink
Award. A Best of the Net nominee, her recent work appears in Perhappened, Emerge
Literary Journal, and Dust Poetry Magazine, among others, and she has
poems in many anthologies as well. Originally from California, she lives in Spain with
her wife and two young children.
List of publications and other details are available at poet’s blog:
Welcome to My Renaissance