A prose poem by Wendy Barker
If it meant going dead I would rather. Better just not
see him, or talk. I can't even come in and sit in one of
the kid's desks next to you at lunch time? he said. Not
even that. If the soil were packed down hard, solid
clay like the earth around the old mildewed roses,
no room for air, no sand or humus, maybe nothing
more would grow through. Tamp it all down, not even
room for a strand. The answer was no. Take the green
pillow case I had kept and fold it into a box and seal it
with tape. Same box for the photo of his big head in
front of a redwood, smiling at me. Put it all away.
Close down shop. Move back to the desert.