The First Noel
Allison from high school had a paper smile
torn at the edges-
ran for a bus against the windy round corner
of her jumbled-up neighborhood.
lack eyed boots and three lonely brothers.
I ate cookies at her house one soggy
morning before holiday break.
Her mother swaying around the
kitchen to Frank Sinatra,
the tossed family mail covering crumbs
on the thin plastic tablecloth.
No one in her small kitchen dreamed
of fancy cars on the highway
or globes spinning
soaring planes against wide open skies.
trapped between countries
language getting lost on the rim of a glass.
Her father studied me hard then
barreled down the stairs
returning hours later
with a small Christmas tree -
slanted and confused
he held it up like a prized fish.
he told me once -
as she puffed her Marlboro lights
in the deep tunnel of our high school staircase -
that no one listens to
she could crawl her way out of a cloud
and had eyes in the back of her head.
Allison from high school pulled me with her
into the top shelf of the hallway closet
to search for stars, glass balls - long tubes of snow.
Made from detergent and baking soda
they sat in a marked box
trapped like time and stuffed with tissue.
We spent hours tossing tinsel, stretching ribbons -
and when each skinny branch
was somehow given a fix -
placed it on a covered box.
We sat holding hands looking at the shiny cones of silver;
candy canes hanging their necks
dangling like question marks.
t what we made
Allison said. Look at what comes from nothing.
Kindness is curious - it sits in jars.
It mistakes itself for grace -
slips through the bars of good will.
Kindness sometimes lives
on its own mountain -
looks at itself in mirrors;
it never judges itself -never gets full.
Kindness races down the street with its mouth open -
words of reassurance following like a shadow.
It holds your thoughts like a place setting.
Kindness is air-tight and rolls down stairs
wrapped in the problems of everyone else;
step after step pouting like a lemon.
Kindness forces those seeds out -
then lines them up at the edge of the sink.
You can tell when kindness has swept over you -
it leaves the hair curled on your shoulders
and weeps the willow out of the branches.
It closes in deep when your hand is empty.
Kindness doesn't ring the bell
it opens the bottom of the window
and one foot at a time
invades the air between the words.
It's the high-top of your sneakers
and the down-low of the secrets you keep hidden.
If you sought out kindness on a deserted street corner
it would be the last vacant glow from the passing cars -
it would not spray rain in your face.
Kindness holds its nicknames in folded squares of paper -
it is the voice as you toss and turn -
the sleep that finally takes your hand.
Kindness is the best of that love
you can only now remember.
Saturday in the Park
If you learn to fly a kite I guess it would be the windy side of the day that
The butter on toast with just the hint of something else.
You would have to check the sky for leftover rain -night shadows
hiding restless messages -
faces of midnight moons hiding behind the stars.
You would be held to higher standards once it lifted into the air -
while it floated people would be close to you wearing you like a scarf.
Eyes following it down the nothing of air - like a million lost roads.
All you know stops making sense with the striped buckets of color and light; it
would dip -
curl high above the sullen pockets of land -
then test the ground and run its finger through its hair.
It would be fierce then frightened.
Solid and uncertain.
You can't lie to a kite.
It knows you in the flick of your wrist - senses you like a cloud.
Kites hear the light gasps of air as you watch it tease and twist -
it acts casual with you but it's more bossy than the sun.
He taught me once about kites in some beige,soft spot of sky.
I ran along side that lonesome string tripping over sand
and the sound of his voice.
We Missed the #68 to Orchard Beach
Why Taking the #6 Train From
You don't know how people live
she told me.
How they crawl across the floor on all fours
how they scream in the night,
spit glass through those sounds in your head.
You don't know how hard it was to end up here
on the edge of this cliff.
She's ranting on the #6 train
in small puffs of black air.
Sharing her small space of seat
with a pregnant woman –
shaking her fists at the holes in her sleeves.
Those mittens will get caught
like lies between your teeth.
Eyes darting to her then me;
a sliver of air fits between her coat
and the long loose lines of my legs.
Sharing thin strips of black hollow
air/cloudy windows with names in markers
Smeared across the glass.
I drink my coffee - the swallowed up gathering of us
in deep woolen coats
and those blank, startled noises pushing us
along slamming into stops
and those lights from the tunnel.
Thank you for visiting Tweetspeak VerseWrights.
© 2012-2018. VerseWrights. All rights reserved.:
Charlotte Perkins Gilman Poems
Fairy Tale Poems
John Keats Poems
Math, Science & Technology Poems
Ship, Sail & Boat Poems
William Blake Poems
To translate this page: