Tuesday, August 12, 2014

And the honest truth is they let us down, not always gently--plop us on the floor after a sudden word and leave you there. People. They come and go. And you fill them up like houses, moving furniture around, helping sort things out. You try to offer - maybe too much - gifts and spare things like apples from the grocery store; you pick out shirts that would fit, the perfect place to put a lamp. Then you expect too much, a book returned, or a nice view out a window, a pretty corner in an open room where you can sit together. People. You let them in through the front door like honored guests and they leave through the back, seeing all their faults in you. We show them out, then take them in again, because they knock and the door swings open and shut.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

I am tired of sitting quietly under the tree, watching
wind on the grass.

I am tired of passively folding before grief, biting down
on leather straps. I yearn for winter, and then grow tired
of the cold. Spring seems like a new garden, frighteningly green,
and I am reluctant to leave the snow.
i want to be in that little boat, on that lake
somewhere in the wood, on a warm afternoon,

where reeds push up against the side
of the water, vibrant miles

and i can see shoreline, like the breath of me
aligned with you, because we came here together

as old friends sinking lures
on the lake, casting lines in the blue.

The Season

December 23rd, 2013

I am in that place again, melting, reforming,
my thoughts getting sloppy, spilling out
over the sheets as I lie awake at night, heavy,
unable to sleep.

Weight, like an iron ton
compresses my chest. 'Tis the season of wrapping gifts in regrets
and eating minced meats, sugary sweets, so sweet
they make my teeth ache.

And outside, I see pretty lights gleam
from the gutters of my neighbor's house. I lie awake
with flurrying thoughts, snow drifting down, melting on pavement
and freezing in doubt.

I can't make peace with you in the silent night.
I bow my head to the pillow, praising
those red and green lights, the wreath on the door and heart bound tight
under the tree, where the presents lie waiting.


Love is our last gasp
before silence falls; a desperate grasp
for meaning.

Imperfect weather, I breathe out
a final release: I am letting go of lightning.

Small cracks align the heart,
denoting one region from another.
After the rain, thunder rolls through us.
Muscles stutter against
broken plans, abandoned meanings,
collapsing bridges and sudden endings.

the sky encased by dampened clouds, here is the heart
torn asunder. We can run for shelter,
but the storm rages on within and the wind
breathes out, the rain swells--
a gasp, release, and thunder.

~T. L. Shreffler