The Music of the Spheres in the Form of Wildflowers

       Not inexplicably bereft, she says, meaning she’s known,
she’s always known there would be rift,

       rupture, cleaving. How many times has she shaken
her head over the duplicity of that word,

       clinging yet hacking apart, the cleaver so menacing
she had to throw it in the trash one day,

       wrapped in newspapers so the blade wouldn’t pierce
the Hefty bag. When the daughter was a baby,

       there were nights she cried and cried
until she felt herself losing hold, standing over her

       or rocking her, violent images rushing
into her head: pillows, sacs, stones. Then one night

       the cleaver, ornament, really, in the kitchen,
unused except for the time she’d tried to cleave

       a chicken, hacked at its breast, which resisted.
She leans into the counter weeping: Now,

       years later, remembering how she’d thrown the whole
chicken in the trash, wrapped in newspaper

       as she later did with the cleaver. Something is being
avoided. Something left unsaid. Her daughter.

       Her daughter. This isn’t about you. And the pain
of this story waiting to move into the next,

       into the daughter’s story, what comfort is there
in someone saying It’s life, it’s just life.

       when it’s as much of death as anyone
should get to know. Death that so often seems

       a reprieve, a stasis, a blank space between
the barrenness of winter and lavish spring.

       Well. There’s work to do. The dead strands
of the iris, the toppled heads of the peonies,

       the grass that should be mown one last time
before the first snow. She’ll play Mozart

       on her iPod, the concerto in D minor
that speaks (words being so little of the whole

       of what gets said) of sorrow as a natural thing,
a flower in the field, spreading, a whole field

       of Indian paintbrush or wild rose, the wind
carrying the scent everywhere, the light

       the fiery red, the heart of suffering open,
another, another, open, witnessed, heard.

Lynne Knight | Report From Several Time Frames
Mudlark Contents | Mudlark Chap No. 66 (2018)