February 19, 2013

Breath. Eyes. Memory. by Nancy Flynn


Breath.  Eyes.  Memory.
Bloomingdale Cemetery 1976

to stroll that easy Pennsylvanian hill
to nose through country clean better than the valley sulfured,
            open-mouth gulp at the sweet
to suck in solstice, the hint of a wild rose
to script your wrist with a day lily’s anther dust
to pick a sole-stuck pebble, kick stones, off shoes
to downward facing dog under a crabapple in a far corner,
            the plots unmarked, unsold
to pass a pickup, its bed of tools—pickaxe, shovel,
            rake beside a wheelbarrow of recently upped
            earth
to navigate the gravel paths between graves
to Braille over names—Abel, Wilkenson, Karst
to count the inhales in, exhales out
to settle on a mound next to a woman—surely one
            of your great-great-grands
to spread a calico cloth
to open a basket of bread not yet broken
to lotus-fold your legs
to recall it was the quiet, the no one around, lured you there first;
later, the cicada concerto day after dog day until you’d somersault,
            adrift, aground
to recall it also quiet
to recall it dead-air quiet
to listen to your breath
inhale
exhale                        
            out






Nancy Flynn grew up on the Susquehanna River in northeastern Pennsylvania, spent many years on a creek in Ithaca, New York, and now lives near the mighty Columbia in Portland, Oregon. Recent poems have appeared in Blood Orange Review and PANK; her second chapbook, Eternity a Coal’s Throw, was published in 2012. More at www.nancyflynn.com.

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