Fall commands with cool
temperatures. Leaves divorce trees
to caress earth.
Our feet crunch the leaves, break up
Mother Nature’s marriage
like our vows decomposing.
I grab rakes from the shed, hand you one.
You reach with silence
that screams louder than we did.
Words sleep on our tongues
rather than scurry onto lips
vacant from each other for weeks.
You stare at the vanishing point
across the yard, pretend this is no different
than shouts that shook air.
The dogs could no longer find
live bodies, so they lay
at our feet, whimpering,
eyes searching us for answers.
But all we could see
was smashed steel,
Our bodies covered
in the ash of questions.
Without My Granddaughter
Her red Radio Flyer wagon waits
in the garage. A watering pail
with smiling spout expectant in its bed.
The stuffed dog that sings at the press of paw
screams silence with no hand to offer voice.
Dolls hide their heads at the bottom of loneliness.
Doctor Seuss books burrow into a drawer,
words clasped tightly between covers
like a tongue trapped behind sewn lips.
Fourth-birthday presents, shoes, socks,
dresses stranded in the closet,
missed cake and lost wishes.
No, Lisa is not resting
in Mother Nature’s earthy heart.
She is with “her” who provided birth.
The woman who shuttled her
to an address unknown to her Dad or family.
Revenge for offenses living in her head.
My mind sees long brown hair splayed
on a pillow, small body swaddled
in a blanket stitched with lies.
Cobwebs now cover the wagon.
The pail pretends to be happy.
Robin Wright’s work has appeared in various literary journals, including Lost River Literary Magazine, See Spot Run, Rat’s Ass Review, Quatrain.Fish, Foliate Oak Literary Magazine, and Amarillo Bay. Two of her poems were published in the University of Southern Indiana’s 50th anniversary anthology, Time Present, Time Past. She has also co-written two novels with Maryanne Burkhard under the name B. W. Wrighthard, Ghost Orchid and A Needle and a Haystack.