Dead Center

Rachel Contreni Flynn
August in Indiana:
 
a heavy moon hung over space
where there was almost nothing
 
but one big town at dead center.
 
Grasshoppers popped under tires, 
the trees swelled with grackles,
 
and I amused myself with windmills -- 
the solitary geometry of glint and spin,
 
slowing then standing motionless
until the sky raised its dark fist. 
 
 
The autumn my mother left
a coldness opened . . .
 
Beans dried to snakes' tails in the fields,
and my chest filled with rust.
 
 
In the snow I walked the pastures 
 
in an orange poncho 
my father could see from the house.
 
Once I told him to stop waving at me.
 
Once I said maybe I’ll just keep walking.  
 
And once I slid the poncho 
to the near-frozen middle of Moots Pond
 
just to watch him run from the house 
barefoot and wild.

From Ice, Mouth, Song by Rachel Contreni Flynn, published by Tupelo Press. Copyright © 2005 by Rachel Contreni Flynn. All rights reserved. Reproduced by permission of Tupelo Press.

Rachel Contreni Flynn

by this poet

poem
If light pours like water
into the kitchen where I sway
with my tired children,

if the rug beneath us
is woven with tough flowers,
and the yellow bowl on the table

rests with the sweet heft 
of fruit, the sun-warmed plums, 
if my body curves over the babies, 

and if I am singing,
then loneliness has lost its