i told her not to run with poetry in her hand but she never listens and, well, you can see the end, can't you? the trip, the fall, the words going everywhere, up into the air and down, sliding under furniture and falling falling, their sharp edges slicing . . . but perhaps not. perhaps they are curvy words and they roll under the couch and chairs, resting nestling against the warmest legs, the ones closest to the fire. or perhaps they land on windowsills warmed at last by the late winter sun, sprawling like cats, purring their poetry back in her direction, slowing her down as she gathers them together again, their warmth falling back into her.
it's a lesson for me, and for her, to learn that spilling the words is sometimes the thing to do. they know where they go.
the commas are the hardest to find, small enough to wrap around the small secrets every room holds.
my across the street neighbor is beginning her move to another town. the once-upon-a-time mary's house will belong to someone new. again. we've saved six glass blocks that sat on the back porch back in mary's day, and i admit i hope the new owners will paint the house a new color. a soft color, a backdrop for the spring flowers, and for the green the yard becomes by mid summer. i watch my neighbor tossing and packing; she thinks she will empty the house of the years she spent there, but i know the truth. she won't. she will leave behind an invisible glass slipper or two. fingerprints of joy and anger, the memory of cigarettes smoked on the darkened front porch late into hot summer nights, her thoughts whirling and tumbling until she could trust herself to sleep. she doesn't smoke anymore, but he does, and he sits through the winter afternoons, sideways on that porch, an ashtray on the ledge. i wonder what secrets he will leave. i wonder who will rake the leaves when he is gone, or if they will use a leaf blower, not knowing the quiet he left behind.