A Lesson Bearing My Name
Legs folded beneath me
in a cramped half lotus,
I put myself to use
scrubbing tile, fighting
panic lining my skin
like a fever sweat:
I fear I am losing
the one I swore to live for.
I hear my long-dead
saying “be still,”
which really means
be quiet. I am willing
to do both. I will not
hover at the closed door
cleaving me from her
so neatly. Now I toe
the ledge of everyday
with no guiding hand
at my elbow
but the wind is sweet
in my mouth as I strive
to keep my palms uplifted
Meteorological spring unleashes
a wind that throws its voice—
chorus out of tune, disembodied force
imbued with a child’s mischief,
tossing small stones and dirt clods
against glass panes and doors.
The trees bend, deferential
to gusts wielding a razor, shearing oaks
of every dead leaf, every brittle twig,
wrenching saplings from the soil.
The route number torn from its metal post;
now the sign simply reads NORTH.
I remember my father’s warning to me
when I was a child spying on storms:
get away from the window. No doubt
he would say the same if he saw me
standing here fearless since the sun
has risen today, making a promise
God is only halfhearted in keeping:
no tornado, no flood.
M. Stone is a bookworm, birdwatcher, and stargazer who writes poetry and fiction while living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in San Pedro River Review, Star 82 Review, UCity Review, and numerous other journals. Find her on Twitter @writermstone and at writermstone.wordpress.com.