Construction Literary Magazine

March 2019: Conflict & Displacement

Vintage 1942

Vintage 1942

Photograph via Flickr by Leo Lowe

Now more than ever is time to wake again
and run with cousins across scurf to the barn
to dislodge chickens from their roosts
and cup in palms warm eggs and bring them
unbroken to the kitchen’s spattering bacon,
or pedal full speed, scattering cats, dodging
horses yoked to a harrow, and chase, lance
close tucked, past steaming dung to rescue
light from a dragon’s mouth of eternal darkness;

or hide beneath the honeysuckle in evening
when someone is calling but we will not permit
sun to tug the dark quilt over another day—
not from fear but boredom of beds and dreams.

Now more than ever when time is as brief
as glowing streak of a hummingbird leaving
the flat green of leaf and lawn behind
and even slow breathing slows nothing down,

when some dull ache of sinew or bone
I wake to is my night’s companion,
I bless the way this room too endures,
hung with familiar shadows on each wall,

or the pungent juice of currants returns me
to a cool glass, retrieved by broad-hipped aunt
from the spring where it was stored as I sprawl
on a porch in drowse of shivering light.