In the dark corridor
I hear women
pitches and tones
all their own
feeling their way through shadows
through the music
in this dissonance
I hear my dead mother’s melody
soft from my daughter’s lips
its waves unravelling their DNA
on our hospital walls
with interlocking shapes
of crowning concertos
Oh what else can unzip
the pain of stretching skin
into pure song?
Kathleen Strafford is a student at Trinity University in Leeds studying for her MA in creative writing. She hopes her first collection of poetry will be published this coming year after graduation. She has been published in magazines & online: Interpreter’s House, Butcher’s Dog, Fat Damsel, Ink Sweat and Tears, Panoply, and various anthologies.
We keep no garden while the drought hammers
the yard to cinders. By day, rabbits stand
brazen in the clover, which means they number.
Here’s where we dug deep to uproot the invasive
Norway maple, where we spliced raspberry bushes
the spiders own, & where we planted a fig tree
to learn we don’t like figs, where the firewood
that has seen winter is seasoned into best burning,
but where a diligence of insects colonizes
beneath the wood’s brown tarp. What’s ends up
in the amber of our errors is the living
we did in the skin of the flaw. From the steps,
I see where the ice dams grew & poisoned the joist,
where the water sank down the railing & expanded,
but the cracked granite steps are our perpetual altar,
& these devotions are daily. We need no priest
to find the psalms or bend faith to reach us.
We are already singing the song we want to hear.
Maximilian Heinegg’s poems have appeared in The Cortland Review, Tar River Poetry, December Magazine, and Columbia Poetry Review, among others. He teaches English in the public schools of Medford, MA. He is also a singer-songwriter whose records can be heard at www.maxheinegg.com