I looked for you again
in the garden, as I have each year when the light grows long upon the grass, remembering that moment when you lit upon my knuckle, your tatted wings the hue of ripened limes, and eyes like orchid beads, and wondered what you were, what passing phase—youth or age or in between— delivered you to me, and felt your flutters kiss my skin before you floated out of sight, and left me wanting more, as miracles often do.
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You loathe me.
I can tell by the way
you drive dulled prongs into the soil and twist.
Or plunge your rusted wedge
into my heart of secrets, to loose my grip on life.
I see the way you look at me
when I resist, the bile rising in your eyes.
What is it that offends?
Your vapors leave me
breathless, stinging, withering on Why?
Don’t you know your war is folly?
For even as I wilt,
my sister sheds her crown of fresh seed tears
to spite your pride.
©2016 by Barbara Froman
The seats were metal then, cold even in summer. We didn’t need a push—we swung, pumped our legs until the sun seemed close enough to singe, until our lungs swelled fat with breath.
The ground beneath us could have killed, but didn’t—we pumped and swung until it disappeared, until the iron chains we clung to wore patterns in our palms.
Circles, lines, and flecks of rust. No adults in sight, it was the two of us, dodging cars in search of freedom, flight.
Those times are fragrant now, evoked by bugs unlike the ants at our feet, rising by the thousands. Ours was a hard world, buildings and noise, concrete and iron…
And honeysuckle, always honeysuckle, every spring.
This was us, petal and pistil, silk and sweet. This was us, between sharp edges and life.
And I do not wonder why I love you, thinking back—the daring in your spirit, the grooved and open heart of your smile.
Your willingness to face threats and fly into the sun.
I do not wonder why.
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