Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Two Poems


Trees amaze me most in winter when
stark against slate skies
slim, long branches bend.  In December
snow somehow gently clings.
Pagans danced around oaks, in awe.
Trees were holy things.
Squirrels hurry as sparrows startle
through large, breathing limbs,
squeaking speckled, noisy hymns.
Pale, crisp leaves lay soft nearby,
in winter when trees amaze me most.


People do odd things
after the death of a parent –
lose their faith,
end a marriage,
travel somewhere
they read of long ago,
as if, as if…
the faces they owned
before they saw
the things no one tells,
would somehow return,
certain and vaguely young.

The last time I saw my mother
she winked at me when encouraged
to attend a sing-along.
I understood that wink to mean
there wasn’t much to sing about
stationed by the large window
in a locked wheelchair so the nursing
home staff could move freely.
That window waits for me.

It does no one good
to cry in the dark,
“I was wrong.”  You need
to go on in the way
almost sleeping children
pull bedcovers and sigh
into the breadth of night.

from First Kiss by Barbara Alfaro

 © Barbara Alfaro

“Afterlife” first appeared in The Chesapeake Reader.

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