May 8, 2017

Until the Cattails Sway by David Spicer

What’s your favorite fruit?
Victoria asked. The japonica 
when I wear a kimono in my 
bedroom above the courtyard, 
I said. Now, when I taste my 
first bite, I hear moths murmur 
to her dances, dream of the cemetery 
under the moon and watch headstones 
tease their namesakes in the ground. 
Caisson horses wait while she 
struggles each night. Where to now,
I ask? Chemo’s teased her long 
enough as she wheezes its promises, 
and I may as well listen to Procol 
Harum sing Christmas music 
than watch her grip the bed rail.
Or remember that nobody escapes 
the mausoleum after unlocking
the mansion’s door. Now, with no 
japonicas to remind me how much 
she aches, even as I watch butterflies 
and geese share the sky, I pray I’ll 
never surrender until the cattails 
sway, telling me she’s free.

David Spicer, the author of one full-length collection and four chapbooks and the former editor of raccoon, Outlaw, and Ion Books, lives in Memphis with his wife and two Maine Coon cats. He likes to binge watch crime shows, listen to singer-songwriters, and obsess about poems.

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