Stirring : A Literary Collection

Jane Halpert


She shook me off when I tugged at the tie
of her sundress. Too busy with God and the radio preacher,
she clenched her hands into chalky fists and waited.

The preacher was feeling it strong the way a sailor knows
a storm. She clicked her tongue in time with his chant,
matching the telos of the second hand, undisturbed,
by the future meeting of ceiling and skull.

I was in flight to the front yard, ready
to shoot to heaven like a shuttle over Cape Canaveral.
waiting for her and whatever would unfold,
wondering if shed burst through the front door,
hands full of photo albums, the radio slung under one arm,
his drawl repeating: Six pm, folks. Im feeling it
like a sailor knows a storm.

All the while my sins rose one by one through the
grass like swollen night crawlers that I pressed
between my hands until they stopped
squirming, until there were no more

and the palms hung purple, the clouds rolled slowly
in their sleep. No sound but fronds tapping at the kitchen glass.
Or was it her? Standing behind the window, waving me inside.

Location: Rochester, Michigan

Stirring : A Literary Collection

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