Poems by Brett Thibault
The discovery one boy reveals lays like a Maltese cross
word of a piecrust shack, a vintner recluse swallowed by wild things
with a passion for the vine, thump vivid in a boy's midriff.
Memories root, though the bright stalks may remain dormant
through teenage winter; mowed down by new life in the heat,
flattened by dragging the millstone of responsibility.
Eventually a man returns via reflection or refraction to a place
early in the journey, walks in: under early light catalyzing
midnight ink to frost fingers searching the arc
long lashed again, cheeks round, head crowned in velvet
pumping the sprocket, spokes casting light roulette, chin lifting
at the scent of fragrant arbors, the new, coppery taste of reputation
in the snowing air above rifled boxes of filthy long-johns—the neighbor
woman at the fence!—and a book bound in black—demanding:
this is not your house you should be ashamed get the hell out.
How small one looks, seen now, from a hard chair at a kitchen table,
balanced on the lip of some wild thing. Right now: in a colorless year,
with a mouthful of sand, bent over a small book searching for inspiration.
There are things worse than being ashamed.