how the body heals
slow-crawl through thick air
mind furrows its weighty rut
& a boy flits past on his board
threads the sluggish cars
so fully his 13-year-old self
left foot lifted
slings him wide
& I want to warn him
don’t ride here it’s too
but he pulls me
into the perfect stitch
of his turn
holds all of us car-bound cynics
weaves his net
rule of body-need
I danced once
between a mirrored wall
& plate-glass street
bare feet & red skirt
music & muscle in synch
my middle-aged body
claiming this column of air
you make me feel
you make me feel
each step a truth
though I was not
had never been
lifted all of Congress Street
my bones singing
after Rising Cairn by Celeste Roberge
the stones piled variously on the thin beach
near my favorite walking path fall
when the tide turns & collect
in the crook of that place prepared
for stillness. the water beats them smooth
& makes a kind of music grief’s
innumerable chuffs & sighs. the woman kneeling
does not put the stones into her pockets
but swallows them each stone
remembered by the tongue. swallows clay & silt
taste of cavern cliff edge & crag until her body holds
the balance between weight
& right. earth-pinned I too remember each fist-sized
bruise each rain-wise stone tuned to the illumined lullaby
of loss. like the low-tide man hefting
stone in his well-muscled arms smile-less stone-
worthy. another swallower he cairns & stoops.
does not look at me even when I speak.
we swallow what gathers clamoring.
we sink a bit more each day stone-anchored.
she says she’s rising. not
sinking. in another telling she carries stones
one by one uphill. some say
the carrying goes on forever.
Inuksuk (inukshuk in English) is an Inuit word for a figure made of piled stones constructed to communicate with humans throughout the arctic. Inukshuk means “to act in the capacity of a human.” http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/en/article/inuksuk-inukshuk/
Jeri Theriault’s Radost, My Red was published by Moon Pie Press in 2016. She also has three chapbooks, most recently: In the Museum of Surrender (Encircle Publications contest winner, 2013). Her poems have appeared in journals (Paterson Literary Review, Beloit Poetry Journal, Rattle, The Atlanta Review, etc.) and anthologies such as French Connections: An Anthology of Poetry by Franco-Americans. A Fulbright recipient (1998-99) and Pushcart Prize nominee (2006, 2013 and 2016), Jeri holds an MFA from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lives in Maine.
You must log in to post a comment.