Posts Tagged ‘pause’

Momentary Altar

On the altar of sunset,
I place the scent of lilacs
we used to pick every year
to give your teachers
on the last day of school.
I place the sound of the river
where we used to stand on the banks
and throw rocks for the joy of the splash.
I place the wild and vibrant
green of spring
and the new paths your father
has mowed in the field.
I place the ponderosa tree
now taller than you were when you died
and the golden light at the end of the valley.
I place my own naked heart.
Everywhere is an altar,
a place to remember you.
The pond. The driveway. The field.
Everywhere a place to pause,
to wish you well, to tell you
I remember. I remember.
You were here. You are here.
I remember.

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The mother walked
in a deep river gorge
forged by water and time.
She knew herself alone.
She moved with no urgency.
She stepped as if she’d forgotten
what time was.
She paused at the wild currants
and pulled the small red fruits
into her mouth.
She paused on the bridge
and watched the water
continue its forging.
She paused on a flat rock,
removed her shoes
and slipped her feet
into the cold water.
She did not mind
the hem of her black dress
spilling into the stream.
She sat.
She didn’t weep until she did.
She wept until she didn’t.
She sat until she forgot
she was sitting.
She sat until
there was a clearing in her
the way the river will eventually clear
after it’s been muddied by the rain.
There’s no magic number
for how many minutes
or hours or years
it takes to clear.
It is, perhaps, sufficient to know
clearing happens.
At some point, she rose
and walked toward home.
She was not alone.
There was nothing that was not beautiful.

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A rumor platoon.

  A secret room.

    A flying trapeze.

      The honeyed moon.

    A grapefruit pucker.

  A slick river otter.

A compound fracture

  and a safety measure.

    The carrot peeler

      and the apple tree,

    the truth, the lie,

  the apology.

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