Jul/Aug 2016 Poetry Special Feature


by Barbara De Franceschi

Photographic Artwork by Victoria Mlady

Photographic Artwork by Victoria Mlady


I've come to realize that pain is a cunning thing,
it consorts with tears made from liquid ice.
On a morning walk
I recognize summer tailings.
The brightness of autumn seems distasteful,
copper-pot leaves are far too vivid
for my wishy-washy world.
Pace slackens; the home-run grabs at heels.

Gate clicks open.
I analyze the path,
count the weeds among the maze of pavers—
tactics for delayed entry.

Once inside
a cold breeze sneezes
its way through every room,
floors ache,
a familiar tread only pretends
to walk in sunlight
streaming through French doors.
Time is jilted.
Healing self-harms.
Sadness is content to loom with insistence.
Day spreads into the guts of night for another solo parade.

I long to watch a full moon lifted by regular snores,
feel fingertips in my hair,
pluck music from a raspy voice.

Don't tell me to collect memories,
or surrender to a renovated world.

I write his name

on bedroom walls,
above the bathroom mirror,
on every dining room chair,
in calligraphy down the hallway.

I use indelible ink.


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