(at Silver Lake, St. Anthony, Minnesota)

If I stare long enough
              anything can look like home
A drooping tree can be
              my grandmother’s green
drapes, the thick, heavy ones
              popular in the 70s
The poplar tree can be
              the thing that stole away
my granddaddy and that
              house he never built
A blade of grass –the butcher
              knife used for family dinners
A twig –the wooden handle
              pressing splinters into palm
Scratching squirrels –the bent
              fingers of my sister’s hand
oiling my dry scalp
              The mud–Blue Magic
Weeds –the rat-tail end of a comb
              Sparrows –neighbor kids
tapping pebbles on the glass
              asking in high-pitched whisper
Can y’all come out and play?
              The crows –their raucous parents
who fight every other day
              while ants play the part
of kitchen roaches, scattering
              beneath my feet
as I stand at the pond’s edge
              a crawling breeze becomes
the hemline of my mother’s dress
              sweeping a fragrance of gentleness
if tenderness could have a smell
              it would be sweet as the pinkish
wet of sliced watermelon
              before drying to a drip
at my elbow’s tip, sweet as the blue
              bottom of a firecracker popsicle
inking the center of my pink tongue
              If I stand still long enough
I can feel the sun of my youth
              like the warmth of a gas bill paid
on a Midwest winter’s day
              But today
I welcome summer’s shade
              in a world of new surrounding blue
as if this is a place where I belong

April Gibson
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