Listen by Nancy Schatz Alton
I’m looking for where the smile is easy
while still trying to drop the baggage.
If only it were as easy
as releasing pretend suitcases.
I know the cost of clenching:
holding fast to what no longer works.
It’s amazing how my brain
is that how a hawk hunts?
Are birds of prey like my brain?
In 16 minutes
my coffee cools
and the expert relaxes
the tight coil of my memory.
I wipe the picture frame clean.
I keep photos of smiles that spill joy
to remember there is life without layers
back there, too.
Hiding in the brambles I like to revisit
I can hear spirals of laughter, too.
Now the rain hits and runs down
black tar paper.
I slip into sound.
Drop the story.
The heat pushes up
through the vent