I am at this moment a fly in amber honey slow in the hot car
humidity as breathing through mittens
or clenched fists
or arms held high to protect
or burying your face in your pillow each night
counting slowly to seven
inhale one two three four exhale count to eight.
As a child I pressed my hands to the space between eyelid and temple when faced with something frightening, blinders.
When they bulldozed it all to the ground I sat facing it and cried.
Mine and Danny’s names scratched into the concrete at the base and now that’s all that’s left of that life: the nursery gone, the house, the home, the neighbor boy who hid in tall grasses crashed his car on the road I drive daily.
Our flag has garroted itself in the breeze and now from the pole at the edge of our garage only the red and white are visible; in a moment I’ll leave the car lift it from its mount wind the tail over and complete the task that’s started, brace to fold it shut before even a corner dips to touch the ground.
Jill Bergantz Carley is a Pushcart Prize nominated poet living in rural Northern California. Her work is forthcoming from OPOSSUM, Silver Needle Press, Collective Unrest, and elsewhere this spring. She lives online at jillbergantzcarley.com.