From Tilt by Rosalind Hudis (Cinnamon Press - October 2014)
Seasons May Resist Origami
We conjured their shape,
like folded napkins, above
the heads of all evidence.
We wanted to shake them out
for our children, as keepsakes:
the way you'd smell snow
before it fell, the length of cold
to unroll before spring.
Sometimes they'd play retro
turns for the twist of it: once
iced roped our hair as we tied
and door. My sister
flicks a text like a trick
of mind: they are watering
roses in December
in such heat. It settles
like a new brand of loss.
Oil in Blue
Outside this room it's summer, but Dad paints
snow, over everything, and most of it blue.
I climb the scarp of his back, peering in.
He's left all the people out, though roofs lock
together like the wall-mind of victims.
The traffic light is a red nerve, the street dead
end, no stilled cars. You'd find it hard
to move down the bone-white streaks of path
among all that blueness. There are windows
lit; I beat Dad's neck and ask him
what the people are doing, the people he lit.
I don't yet understand each room
is a past tense, has lost its keys, its hot cells
guttering out, one after one.
The Women of my Childhood
as I veer out of the fog
of play in a brick-deaf yard,
back through a kitchen door,
are always bending
away into another act.
Their hands vanish into bowls
that loom like chapels,
or raise a coal bucket,
or wring dry the space
words have walked out on.
It's always their backs
that meet me, the dissolving shape
of things just done, the reel of bones
under house-coats, phrase
chained to phrase, pulled
ahead as I reach to grip
a pocket, laundered and empty
of the side-tracks a man might keep:
a dice, a coin, or pen-knife,
the glint, the leap, the cut.