Page 62 - WTP Vol. VII #1
P. 62

 Grass, Leaves, Salt, Mud
Yesterday I was sure she was dead, but today she’s alive again. I encrypted my talk, blacked out
Each day we are one less day until the year wins and we begin
parts of letters that mention her name blotted her out of my thoughts for the sake
like the blackbird with the red arm band in a high polish of rain,
of my ordinary soul. This summer there are so many foxes, my granddaughter says. And this is code too.
we miss the night, the nest,
the taproot drinking from the past,
The bears protect the town, she continues, eyes wide. Not code. A mistake/ she speaks Spanish poorly.
we soar over cows in the mountains as bears take the pasture
Her town hosts a bear sanctuary.
If only Cuba had bears in the mountains instead of men
fox for the chickens
all listening to the language of waning light:
who turned against God. I tell my granddaughter: they went up talking about Jesus
happiness the electricity
that keeps us alive in the snow and the stick
but when they came down, Castro was the new king. No Christmas. If only we had bears for protection then!
of a Hawaiian Punch-flavored lollypop wilts paper between my teeth, each night
On my 90th birthday my sister comes from Miami. Alive. She made it to Florida. I’ve never asked how.
we take double electricity,
until the moon wins, seasons the prize
each with a distinct stain: grass, leaves, salt, mud.
Bears Protect the Town
When my sister was arrested I was on a small plane to Miami, ears stuck with pearls/ given to me the day
of silk and white lace/ the moment I said, I do. Like a disheveled debutante on a jet, let’s go
bride-like nervousness when my documents were torn photographs taken (away) today it is legal to leave,
tomorrow it will not be. Tomorrow brought news of her arrest and began eighteen years of not knowing—is my sister dead?

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