What Falls, and Other Sonnets
Creative Writing | Poetry
What falls first leans the slightest bit. Faint lines
record the tremors first, a spidering
of stress across the wall, across the mind,
a fracturing, as if a wound-up spring
was wound one turn beyond its tolerance
and all that held no longer holds, is split—
a breeze across a bush that’s still, a glance
of sun and what was shadow now is lit.
The mirror will not tell the truth for what
it sees is what it is. The mortar’s cracked
and physics does the rest. Things don’t fall up.
The word once said, you cannot take it back.
By grains the mountains turn to sand. The mind
resists—or not—the gravities of Time.
A sole bird’s anthem chirps away and then
there’s only green, dewed grass and trees as still
as stone. The morning shadows once again
snugged tight as gloves on rolling, rhythmic hills.
The train’s long echo, haunted, distant horn
gets smaller in the silences it leaves
behind until its last vibration’s gone
and then there’s only green, dewed grass and peace,
the blue height of the sky, dark statements of
the quiet trees. The sun clicks on then fades
to green dewed grass that’s cool against the brush
that lines the field that borders the far glade.
The wind picks up. The trees are whispering
old tales about, perhaps, what Time will bring.
I look. The time right now’s my birthday date—
11: 24. Such things occur.
They’re probable, an old friend says. Of fate
that I see lurking here, my friend demurs,
and says, Well, no. That’s well within the range
of, simply put, the ways things go. I’m stunned
while he’s amused. But then I see as strange
what most, I think, see simply as what’s done.
I still feel, as I did when I was young,
that I’m a visitor. My sister says
I never smiled. Wherever I’d come from
it wasn’t here. I couldn’t even guess
what I should do or feel. It’s not as bad
since I’ve found love, though most seem crazed or sad.
That Kind Of Day
I’ve seen gray days before, the muffled bare
bulb light of rain the day before. Almost
a kind of blue, the type of sky that stares
your expectations down like those old ghosts
you cannot help but see, and you still squirm
those times that Time is stuck, its hands, you know,
will never move until you learn or earn
reprieve and those ghosts go where all ghosts go,
where life goes when the spark goes out and all
that’s left is bone, a skull a prince who can’t
forget interrogates about the fall
of all of us to wet black earth and ants
and memory that cannot help but hold
onto a fact that never does get old.
Photograph by Elise Matich