Since I was last here, trees, vines,
and shrubbery have all vanished.
Chopped down, that is to say, murdered,
because of some personal inconvenience or a false sense of husbandry.
I miss the wildness, the shade, the random chance
that feral life would peek through green, shimmering leaves
trying to determine if I am good urban,
or the dangerous kind.
I hope never that — no, strive, I strive
to be more considerate, kinder, responsible
than my younger, greed-filled, entitled self.
God is not alone in judging my sins and regrets. Still,
this devastation, this massacre
of one city garden hidden behind one walled city block,
even the stalwart.
©Vera S. Scott
How many ways are there to say,
to be gauche.
Today I will probably hit them all. Today,
all these years later, I am once again
angry with you.
Oh, I know, and you know,
that doesn’t change the love
or the grief,
that if anything it adds to
the personal guilt. But we need you.
But you’re still gone.
As completely and as foolishly as ever,
and it is just as when being without you was new and difficult to navigate,
a struggle to walk beyond.
See, I am still stumbling and tripping.
And you aren’t there to help catch…
any of us.
My older sister was prettier, of course, with her black hair and shiny eyes, but I was the smarter one. I was always more subtle, sneakier, content to relish the small victories rather than indulge in the large, over-blown hoo-has and celebrations she liked. For instance, that house of hers. Which house? You mean you don’t know? You must have heard about it at some point. Gingerbread. In the middle of nowhere out in the woods. Children found it and killed her for it. If I warned her once, I warned her a thousand times. Don’t be so obvious, I’d say. Don’t let on about what you’re up to. Did she listen? No – and look where it got her. She took after our cousins in Scotland; I mean, good grief, they made an entire song out of it:
“Adder’s fork and blind-worm’s sting,
Lizard’s leg and owlet’s wing,
For a charm of powerful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.”
Catchy – but not very secretive, you know what I’m saying. Alexander the Great, that was some of my best work; people have argued for centuries about him and they still aren’t sure. That’s how it’s supposed to be. Quiet. Discreet. Not all hi-ho-hi-ho and poison apples. It’s harder these days, of course, but if you know what you’re doing no forensics in the world will catch you. A dash of enchanted salt left in a restaurant; a bit of good mushroom mixed with the conjured; a spell over the chocolate candy placed on the counter for co-workers.
©2017 Vera S. Scott
In the war between
ice and rain this nascent, white
snowdrop stands valiant.
—for Connie Hirsch