Poetry / Poets / Writers / Writing

Poems by April Salzano

Clear

This day in June. Ocean-mirror sky,
intermittent sun, liberating breeze.
No sign of rain, no threat of storm.

My head. Free of worries and images
of worst case scenarios played out
on a dark highway, in an unlocked house.

My eyes. Vision that sees
what is there for what it is. No
cornea-spot, iris-cloud, cataract in my way.

This water. Its rippled expanse, cradling
cool, reflections speaking only truth.
All spells and holds are broken.

My conscience. No stones cast, glass
houses shattered, scarlet letters sewn.
No wish to go back, blame to assume.

I am. I set myself free.

 

Hindsight

I know what you meant now

when you said you never asked

me to fix you. Why you left me

in the bagel shop with the check,

holding my knife, suspended

mid thought. I understand how

shortsighted I was, worrying about

raising a son in the South.

Why you didn’t want my father

anywhere near him. Why you had grown

tired of my sarcasm and my nightmare’s

narrative filling every single space

between us. You knew something

of a loss I could never have grown into.

Yours was a history

I did not give you a chance

to tell. For years I did not offer

pause, trapped you in

my monologue.

 

When you came back to me, I was plural.

I had learned the meaning, finally

of empathy. But it took me years

and children and marriages and loss

to find the space you described.

By that time, the bagel place had closed,

my father had died, and reality

had shaken me by the shoulders

so hard I was not the same

person who said those stupid things

to someone who already knew better.

 

April Salzano teaches college writing in Pennsylvania where she lives with her husband and two sons. She recently finished her first collection of poetry, for which she is seeking a publisher and is working on a memoir on raising a child with autism. Her work has appeared in journals such as Poetry Salzburg, Convergence, Ascent Aspirations, Convergence, The Camel Saloon, Centrifugal Eye, Deadsnakes, Montucky Review, Visceral Uterusand Salome, Poetry Quarterly, and is forthcoming in Writing Tomorrow and Rattle. The author also serves as co-editor at Kind of a Hurricane Press.

 

 

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