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Cold Blood

April 8, 2010

by Lynnel Jones

Each nine-millimeter flash
its own still shot
played on mind’s blank screen.
Picture a family album
erased mid-air.
Trace tears
dry as rain sucked back
by August lightning heat.
Forget that once I was
a wife, a mother.

As if I should makeup the tattoo
of inner thigh bruises
patch both eyes
recoil the screen
cast mind immobile,
all flash and no portraits.
As if I could will memory an over-ocean bird
exhausted albatross without rigging
beg snowfall thick and numb
along the windrows.
As if denial would forever fill the space
and emptiness turn haven.

What’s left
on anger’s table
are my bones
worn thin
as knees in 6x jeans,
thin as tears,
strikes that shape graves’ stones,
skeletons that swell to fill the holes
with shadow shapes.

Survivor Quilt
No forward without refuge
Amish neighbors — beyond time —
scrapple and tomatoes
canned without the taste of tin.

Sometimes the winter women,
neighborly along the quilting frame,
are bees pollening their fuzz
with murmured Dutchy buzz
around long spears of blue delphinium:
“…all shall be well, and all shall be well,
and all manner of things
shall be well.”*

Jacob’s Ladder, Lone Star, Nine Patch,
Saw Tooth, rollered secure.
New scraps, strong threads, small stitches.
Sometimes a hymn slow-sung:
“Upon the rock of Christ I stand.
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.”

Night times I want the chariot
comin’ for to carry me.
Daylight my feet set firmer
on the sand.
Sometimes I smell the honey in the bee.

*The Inner Castle, Julian of Norwich

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Lynnel Jones’s poems have appeared or are forthcoming in such journals as The Lehigh Valley Literary Review, Persimmon Tree, Flutter Poetry Journal, Mad Poets Review and Watershed. Her chapbook, Rocks and Crazy People, was published by FootHills Publishing in 2008. She was Pushcart nominated in 2009.

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