Sunday, May 20, 2007

because i am an emotional wreck about moving: a poem

Remember that afternoon at
the old covered bridge
smack dab in the middle
of nowhere, New Hampshire?
The bronzed marker cried history
as we made over the world
inhabiting a fairy-tale castle
caught out of time, scaling
splintery turrets to hang
dangling our toes into the
moat below, trading the lookout,
scanning the fish-borne ripples for
signs of Prince Charming’s
barque lured by our siren anthem
felled by our skipped stones.
Oak planks long ago exhaled
dying breath into the brittle
thinning gasping autumn
air, shocked and bled out life
warmth into winter’s killing
kiss. Seventeen
tints of gray, dotted
here and there the red paint that
once welcomed those who crossed
no longer.
Sun streaming through gaps
like beestings in the roof
over our shoulders hair scraped
elbows and browned knuckles,
we laughed, little girls,
stringing dandelions into
dungeon chains and playing princess
until the shadows doubled our height.
In them we shuddered to see a hint,
grown women,
but we shook off the dandelion yoke
and ran home,
all skinny knees and ankles.