Poem from Holly Day's INTO THE CRACKS by Holly Day
- Category: Excerpts from Our Books
- Published: Thursday, 07 March 2019 05:47
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Sunshine on the Rubble
We approach each other’s present-day
as civilizations in decline, look beyond
the conquered walls and shattered windows
scars carved in flesh by unmentionable acts
remnants of wars that must be acknowledged
but written and spoken only as
fixed, immutable points in the past.
instead, we revel in the struts left standing
despite the damage, point out the fine detailing
in frescoed hallways and ornamental lintels
find beauty in even the most accidental of places:
a line of tiny flowers blooming in a sidewalk crack
a spray of green lichen obscuring decades of decay
a statue of a girl I used to be, still standing guard
over the last of the locked doors
I will open only for you.
The maple sends its helicopter seeds across the yard
in desperation dreams of propagation. I rake most of them up
rip out the long roots of the ones that slip past me
the ones that take root and try to grow. I sometimes wonder
if my tree hates me, if it feels angry when it sees me
come out to the garden with my gardening shears
clipping its offspring close to the ground
or if it’s resigned itself to the fact that it will never be surrounded
by a forest of its own family. I think of these violent acts of mine
during heavy storms when the limbs of the tree whip around my roof,
Wonder if it’s using the wind and the lightning as an excuse to drop branches
and clumps of leaves on my lawn, if it’s aiming for me and my children
in an act of retaliation so unexpected and sly
it can’t possibly be blamed.
Now I Can Accept You
In those holding-hands photographs of us on my parents’ wall
time has begun to leach the color from you, and only you, as though
you had already pulled your roots out of me, even then.
I feel myself growing smaller just speaking your name out loud
in the complete quiet that follows the memories of a childhood love.
I don’t know how to find the wounds I’m dying from
buried somewhere in these memories of half-spoken promises.
You are everything good and warm to me,
a summer full of memories, an irresistible force
hiding under my heart