Memory of a Friend
She showered and talked
through hazy blue plastic;
I watched the sponge.
Window haloed her skin,
saturated my memory.
I drew her later and she never knew.
I am not a collector
If I were
I might save that jointed stick,
the one there, that looks like something’s
bones. Those two crumpled yellow leaves
and the orange one. I wouldn’t forget the
brown one edged with red either. I’d pick
up tiny rocks in every shade of gray, brown,
and red and yellow to match the leaves,
arrange them just so.
I’d choose some rune-etched stones
in case they begin to speak to me.
The collection plate would be granite
spatter-painted with lichen
in the pattern of winter constellations,
lined with velvet moss and wisps of grass
that fell from an abandoned nest.
The Kind of Woman She Is
Seventeen-year-old nurses get all the shite jobs. This night the sister in charge hands her some folded gauze and a packet of pins. "Use this to fashion a bonnet and gown." And though her hands shake, the nurse manages to change a naked and crumpled stillborn into a beguiling angel.
A new batch of knitted caps for the charity hospital fills a sack by the door. One hundred fifty this time around. Knitted by gnarled fingers. As long as she's around, no child leaves naked or cold.
Lavonne Westbrooks is the editor of poetrycircle.com .