17 August 2009

Poetry Mini-Challenge...Poem Three

by Christina Hile

I'm a premonition,
she says
and lowers her eyes,
heavy with black mascara,
thin veins
of eyeliner, melting
in the summer heat,
travel down her cheeks.

A premonition of what?

She sighs,
Dead crops,
ship wreck,
does it really matter?
Her ankles
are the color of sand
beneath the tight crisscross
of black sandal straps.

It matters,
but she tilts
her head
and the red dye
of her hair
glows like the bloom
of blood
under surgical lights,
the taste of iron
on my tongue
is her,
all her.

16 August 2009

poetry mini-challenge...poem two

Indian Summer
by Christina Hile

Summer is almost over. We neglect to
mow the grass. We always said
things look better left to grow
a bit wild. The spiders spin
their white silks amongst
the lengthy blades of green. I see now
why you admire them, tiny creatures
with the ability to create their own worlds.

The tree you planted years ago
still stands, crooked and leaning toward
the sidewalk. Its gnarled limbs, the color
of damp sand, hang from its side like the arms
of a tired dancer. We were optimistic
life would find a way to thrive
despite our lack of interest in anything
other than each other's bodies.

The backyard is quiet now. No
rubber boot trails of footprints
trample through the grass and dirt
and onto freshly-mopped linoleum.
Making tea and walking
to the mailbox are ceremonies,
performed more slowly each year.
We always said
the world spins too fast.

Poetry Mini-Challenge...Poem One

I chose the word "Digging."
This is poem #1

by Christina Hile

Even though the yellow August sun shines its strongest,
the air is cool and the wind is constant. It tugs at the washing outside
and rocks the plastic dime store thermometer, missing
its bottom nail, back and forth against the side of
the house. It scoots through gaps in the unpainted picket fence
and whips through the cucumber vines in the vegetable patch.

We sit barefoot on the back porch and eat hotdogs
grilled on a cast iron hibachi, the flimsy wooden handles of
the grill plates burned black from so many summers. She crosses her
legs at the ankles and leans her head back in the rocking chair
and we tell each other stories, mine full of nevers and forevers, and
mostly true. Her stories are the same ones she told last summer.

She would listen to me sigh, my legs drooped over
the worn arm of her rocking chair, and say, What on earth
you got to be so sad about, girl? She'd laugh, a laugh that
drives away sorrow, as she cut two slices of cream pie
as big as my head. She'd cradle my chin in her pillowy hand
and her fingers would smell like bread and lilies.

I sit with my bare feet against stone and
watch the sun set behind the maple tree, its leaves
flutter and crackle. In a matter of weeks they will
change color and fall, but right now they are soft and
green. They dance in the cool breeze like they were
meant to move that way forever, constant.