Monday, February 23, 2015

Megan Merchant - One Poem

Tulips by Your Bedside

I don’t know if you see death
as a blood-blister, or a sky-drawn
curtain, but the javelina
dug up every last tulip seed
we planted.

Your refusal to fight
is already a hole in the ground
where a bright seedling should be--
firm in the soil--and my boys
should get the chance to swerve
their red tricycles around
your reply to spring,
not ask questions to a slab of marble
wearing mute letters of your name.

This is not how
I want to teach them
to read.

But I get that drugs brine
your taste for survival
and knives cannot untangle
a whole parade of clots.

And that this is the lease
we all enter into--

and such love
is the security deposit we never
get back.

So, I’ll rake over patches
where that wild beast
tusked the dirt.

Tuck any waylaid seeds
into the lip of my shirt,
for another season when
the ground will accept
such disturbance.

It’s better than waiting
for the first really good rain
to puddle and a swarm of bees
to belly up for a sip, accidently sting
a fat knee or elbow--a sliver so small
that I won’t see and will have no idea
how to calm my son from crying.

Megan Merchant's chapbook, Translucent, Sealed, is forthcoming though Dancing Girl Press. Her first full-length collection, Gravel Ghosts, is forthcoming though Glass Lyre Press. Her first children’s book, These Words I’ve Shaped For You, is forthcoming through Philomel Books. Her future is bright. She wears shades.

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