Thursday, April 17, 2014

Adventures in the Park


The black rubber swings are killer
whales upon whose backs we ride
across the southern ocean.  The sand
beneath the monkey bars? Lava
we must swing above, hand over
hand.  And if we fall, what then?
I ask young Will.  Do we burn?
Do we die?  Lava can’t hurt you
anymore when you’re old, grandpa,
so you can walk underneath me
with your arms out like this.
Later came the battle with the enemies
of Thor, who always wait stupidly
at the bottom of the slippery slide,
never learning, it seemed, they were
no match for a young Norse god
and his ag├Ęd, but lava-proof sidekick.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Break It Down


Let’s begin.  First, peel the stiff
pages of paperbark, leaf slowly
through, read what the years
have left behind like Braille.

Next, unwind the gauze, rusted
with blood, bandage worked into
the wound like plaster on lath,
to check the knitting of bones.

“Tell me about the day you found
your mother moldering in a corner,
staring at a tear drop on her finger,
making sounds like kittens in a burlap bag.”

My grandson visits most Saturdays,
slides under bulletproof glass his drawings
of a man dressed all in orange, holding
a blood-red heart, mouth, a capital ‘O’.