It's just poetry, it won't bite


02.03.20 Posted in today's words by

Donna James’ most recent poem to appear here was “Buried Treasure” (November 2019).

By Donna James

In the dip between upper and
lower meadows at the old apple,
a mass of shrunken skulls,
harvest’s last spill, resolves to earth.

What do you see? I ask.
The sea of souls
I’m going to dissolve in,
he answers.

For weeks he’s noticed
Internet Nazi rally photos,
Chinese drill teams,
crowded theaters.
Face upon face, the departed,
where I see life.

Toward the back field,
we ford a creek.
It’s slippery,
and crooked, he warns.
He offers his hand.
I plant each step on a slatted platform
spanning the ditch.
I can handle it, I lie.

He wanders away.
I picture that sea
beyond that next clump of thicket.

He turns to see me weep,
pulls out his phone to catch my grief.
This is not performance art, I chide.
I don’t want a record of my pain.

I am deceived.
Between this happens
and this means,
I invent my part of the story.

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