2017 Narrative Poetry Contest - Semi-Finalist
As if in an endless rehearsal,
I packed and unpacked. The challenge,
you said, was to take no more
than I’d need. Tenderly, you followed
the track of a storm moving in from the east.
In bed, a wrinkled map across our laps;
you circled a town and highlighted a road.
A yellow, satiny, path. When we slept,
you tried the path, left markers
you had kept for days like these.
And the markers were keys. Clues
in a moonscape of dust-covered things –
a pair of gloves with suede tips; a scarf;
a ring. Ruins like proof of a marriage,
a story’s skeletal sheen, small deaths, small
victories. Maestro, my mourning dove,
another chance? Put me back in that place
with its signals and gestures and promise
of more mistakes. And I’ll show you
the hurtful lessons lovers make.