Stillborn

My friend Ryan Stone has a poem in the August issue of Red River Review.  I’ll reprint the poem as well as links both to his blog, Days of Stone, and to the journal.  Many fine poems on both venues.

 

Although science, with clinical wisdom
declared her not yet a person,
a heartbeat argued defiantly
for a night.

We visit the cemetery —
hands entwined, minds
in different hemispheres,
hearts mangled. In a quiet corner

where the sun lingers late in summer,
where gelid moans soften in winter,
we become broken pieces
of something once much stronger.

– Ryan Stone
photo courtesy of Jikoman

 

 

If I Die First

“. . . Store me beside the poetry.”

No one could give better instructions than Wendy DeGroat does in this poem.  Her chapbook Beautiful Machinery was published last year.  You can read more about Wendy here.

After the burning’s done, pour
what’s left in a Mason jar—nothing new,

but one washed clean of applesauce or pickled beets,
the clear kind that kids keep fireflies inside.

Let my cinders rest there
like sand art in jelly jars carried home from the fair.

If the small or gray of me unsettles you,
pin flannel or fleece around the glass,

leaving a gap, thumb-wide, under the rim, enough
to let sun and moonlight in. Store me beside the poetry.

When it feels right, talk to me, sing, or sit by quietly.
For a wheel of seasons, take me down. Hold me open—

to campfires, fallen leaves, a lilac’s laden bough.
Press me deep in moss and snow.

When my birthday comes, add a pinch of salt,
toast to us with good bourbon or dark rum.

And when you’re ready to move on, release me somewhere
we once were. As dust blurs through your fingers,

quick or slow, know I miss your touch, and let me go.

– Wendy DeGroat
  First published in Rust + Moth