16 August 2009

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.

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