There was a day

There was a day when I was twelve.

I sat upon a purple blanket, on the green field beside the park’s baseball diamond.

The sun blazed hot.

My bare toes searched through cool blades of June grass.

I had no cares except everything.

Happiness.

***

44 word quadrille for this week’s d’Verse prompt: happiness

Amber

His arm outstretched on the bar top so long

Defining wood grain has marked his skin with deep welts, lines,

Semi-permanent tattoos, depicting the aching magnetism

Of old fashioned, warm amber, honeyed,

Pain relief. Waiting.

Just beyond his fingertips, though never beyond his grasp.

d’Verse quadrille (44 word poem) prompt: magnetic (in any form)

Descending up

Disappointments descend, flutter, circle down, surrounding me

Like autumnal crimson leaves fall to rest at the base of a maple tree

Like layers of discarded, crumbling leaves, covering me up

Like last night’s blankets and denied possibilities

Like last night’s dreams

Disappear      

Like me.

44 words for this week’s d’Verse quadrille prompt: up

Broke

Nelson keeps his deformed left hand in his jeans pocket, rolling a two dollar coin between his three fingers. No matter what happens, with this coin in his pocket, he’s never broke. With two bucks, a person just can’t be broke.

He zips his sleeping bag closed with his right hand, then leans back against the boarded storefront, underneath a gray awning that sheltered him from most of last night’s rain.  Waiting for Old Man Russell to move spots paid off, and Nelson is determined to keep this space for himself, even if it means a few more bloody fights.    

He squints his eyes, blurring his vision and softening the surrounding scene of cement, garbage cans and rusty cars. When Nelson squints, he sees only the centre of the picture: maple trees bursting autumn within the confines of the tiny city park across the street.

Crimson. Pink. Gold. Brightest red. The same colours that painted the horizons of his childhood. His family’s home, nothing more than a rundown shack if he’s honest, had the best view on the reserve. Aunt Gladys said they never had to decorate inside because nature provided decoration enough for anyone. Nelson closes his eyes, carrying his aunt’s words and the fantastic colour, a phantom of comfort, into his sleep.

In his dreams, his family are happy. They sit at picnic tables, waiting for the day’s salmon catch to cook on an open fire. Children play and run around. The adults are telling stories and laughing. But Nelson strains to hear their laughter. It’s blocked out by a loud crackling – the sound of brittle leaves as a strong breeze passes through the tree branches.

And now Nelson can smell smoke, can actually taste smoke from the air. Light wafts have grown into thick billows, raging out of the untamed fire. Salty resin catches in his lungs and takes hold of him.

Bystanders are too distracted by the flames to see a two dollar coin roll into the street.

Submerge

He didn’t glance back before falling forward
Into the still unknown of shocking cobalt.
Crystalline blue.

No one there to fuss or hold him
No one to cry out at just the right moment
Into the midnight afternoon breeze –
Please stay.

For those he’d loved always, eventually
Let go of his hand.
Left him stranded.
Cast away.

And when he realized this, his fate
He’d grieved. Hardened.
Become impenetrable stone.
Then (against even the quirkiest laws of nature)
Frozen to fragile ice, cracked, shattered.

If not submerged within this serene, sharp sapphire
Where else was he meant to be?

Written for dVerse, an ekphrastic poem responding to a work of art. Here that work is a beautifully complex, yet simple, evocative painting by Fay Collins