Wanda Kay Sanders ~ TWO POEMS

JAZZ AND BLUES

The music starts.
Rhythms in waves
Through the air
As Lady Day sings
In a sultry
Voice. The pain,
Her laugh mix–
A life who knows
Both. Love and
Hate–the joy and
Terror seen in
Strange Fruit
In place of
Living flesh.
Counted not as
Human, any longer
If they ever were.
Her songs seek to
Pluck it, to save
The sweet and seeds
So more grow to
Feed us with
Sultry songs again.
Blossoms of beauty
White and fragrant,
The only white this
Living song will
Embrace, not
Forgetting the
Fruit. Waves
Upon the air
Surrounding the
Tree, protecting
Each fruit like some
Sepia skinned angel.
The special assignment
Just for them.

———-

SCREAM

(a)
I died that night.
Though I couldn’t see
The crash–mangled metal,
Cracked glass–shattered
Shards on wet concrete.
You lying in your own
Blood, skull exposed.
I couldn’t hear then
Your last breaths
Gurgles and gasps
Fighting so hard to
come home.
Every night now I hear that
Sound no music can
Cover over and I can’t sleep,
Because I keep hoping
That you’ll be at the door
And I can let you in.
You always told me
When I was alone at night
Lock the screen. I need
You to stay safe. And
You would rustle my hair–
My boyish bob, smiling,
Laughing and call
Me Kewpie and I
Would laugh, let you
Take me in your arms.
I remember that text.
Told me you would be late
Coming home–the rain, the fog
so far to drive but it would be
Fine cause you would be
Careful. I texted you back
Please do and I prayed–
Lord keep him safe.
If I couldn’t ever hear
His voice or see his smile again
I could not go on.
When the doorbell rang
I jumped up smiling expecting
To see you–ready with a
Hug, a kiss, wanting more than
Ever to have you hold me.

(b)
But it wasn’t you this
Time, not then, not ever again.
I remember I heard a someone
Screaming, then only darkness.
When I awoke I was not
At home. I wondered if
It was a dream–the
Worst of all nightmares.
If I called for you
Surely you would come
Hold me and tell me
You loved me.
but there I was–
White sterile walls
Bleach, ammonia smell,
I gasped and threw up.
And a nurse came in
No hint of smile and
Cleaned it all up. Stiff
Sheets so clean and yet
My flesh crawled. And then
I saw the scars–deep
Purple black–ugly on both
My wrists. Then I remembered
Every pill I had and the butcher
Block in our kitchen full
Of knives. Those gurgles
Those gasps I couldn’t
Ever stop them now.
And that scream–my
Scream. Man-sized copper
Boxes and you no
fingers in my hair. But
Crossed peacefully. No
Smile–at least not the
One I knew.
I heard my mother say
How nice a job they had
Done, so natural–and
I could almost hear you
Laugh, men in copper
Boxes could never be
Natural. Then the gasps

(c)
And the gurgles and
The scream–my scream,
And the butcher block
The cycle continued–
A day, a month, a year,
Till at last I saw
You once again–laughing
Smiling, your fingers in
My hair. No gurgles.
No gasps. No scream.
Not mine or any other.
Only you and the
Name you gave me
When you held me
In your arms.

© 2015 Wanda Kay Sanders

The Big Windows Review 6 (Fall 2015)

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