|Oct/Nov 2005 Poetry|
Distant flashes in the still pink sky,
lightning bugs answer in Morse code
rising from the cooling ground
like so many spirits to the rapture.
The checkered red and white
picnic tablecloth glows in the dusk
to the farthest corner of the backyard,
a beacon of sliced watermelon
and cool bottles of Coca-Cola.
She spent hours in her shimmied-up apple tree
running fingers over the healing initials--
hers and some boy's from
vacation bible school that she'd
just met with braces and
a shy blushing smile.
His hair newly trimmed in a
long buzz-cut, bleached by afternoon sun
as he practiced baseball on the
tightly mown municipal park grass.
Every morning, she stared at the
back of his freshly shorn neck
and imagined the velvet nap of it,
rubbed in the wrong direction.
She imagines that the bumpy tree flesh
is his skinned knee, scraped elbow,
and that she has the powers to heal him
with only the lightest touch.
Thunder rumbles in the distance
and the bare bulb of the back porch light
shatters the darkness.
She follows the long shadows, stomping
back to safety like a moth
thumping its fat body
against the porch screen door.