poetryrepairs #200 v14.05:049
JANET I. BUCK : Blackberry Vines
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Blackberry Vines
I write to empty filthy water pouring from the vase of yesterday's visit home. I want to love and be loved in return, but can't redo what never was. She's never loved me simply because my father does. Father's ill with cancer and COPD, fighting the battle with getting old. All my woolish fortitude is eaten by moths of surgeries, a paralyzed arm, pneumonia pushing me straight to the brink of a grave, so close I can see the moist rectangular ditch fed by long spring rainsóthen I fall and break my only functional wrist. Then I break it again. I can barely hold the phone in my hand. My husband gets me up the steps and down the hall with the practiced hand of a puppeteer; I can leave my sickening wheelchair tucked in the trunk of the car. Father can barely hear, so I push a chair, heavy as a Stonehenge rock, close to the arm of his couch. Now we can watch each other's eyes. "Mother" sits across the room in a polished Victorian chair, patting the silk upholstery; "material" is all she knows. Her decorator left for the day, so she's exhausted from thumbing through colors of paint, prints for curtains, a tuft for her headboard, matching satin pillows and quilts. My father is buying a hospital bed for the den. Chessboard moves are quiet ones; I silently plan to put in my living room, so I can be directly at the side of his need. Between weak stabs at politesse, out comes blood from real knives. "Your father was the most poorly paid doctor in this town." Then she says it again, so he can't miss out on the wound. Novels of his sacrifice for all of us, poems of his wise words, the prose of unsaid suffering sit firmly on my tongue. I'm quiet because he trained me carefully not to stab her back, to acquiesce to decades of decorum and insanity served in a martini glass. She picks at my husband's job, asks him if he got a raise. Her presence is an engine leaking dirty oil on the clean floor of a nice garage. We all need deadbolts on our hearts to save us from her savagery. Hugging her is like wrapping arms in ropes of thorns on blackberry vinesó money or the thought of more, her only source of oxygen.

poetryrepairs #200 v14.05:049

All the fine arts are species of poetry--Samuel Taylor Coleridge

poetry repairs your heart
even as it splits it open.
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Another Dead Cow
sometimes in this sunken village a gunshot bounces off the forearm hip, of surrounding mountains I'll think of wild dogs or a bloated cow rigid in a red ditch matted hair yellow grasses icy wind but lately I've thought of you tight flesh over expanded seed balanced on the edge of a black crevasse

poetryrepairs #200 v14.05:049

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Five Roses
Five roses and ten stems, Billions in refuge, Thorns ripping flesh As the basket stays afloat, Standing on the horns of blue. Stems are dry and have blight, So grafted and recycled. Roses stay and bloomó Bees and butterflies Market their scent in globes. Roses stay and bloom... Changes the whorl and hue, One replaced, three addedó Yet same flesh they rip apartó Stems bleed of colorless blood...

poetryrepairs #200 v14.05:049

Poetry endangers the established order
of the soul - Plato

REPAIR: resort, frequent or habitual going; concourse or confluence of people at or in a place; making one's way; to go, betake oneself, to arrive; return to a place; to dwell; to recover, heal, or cure; to renew; to fix to original condition.
-- Oxford English Dictionary


JANET I. BUCK : Blackberry Vines
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