Helen by Amanda Wenisch
I read your life like a poem to solve,
analyzing the images before me.
There I am in the tiny bathroom off your kitchen, memorizing
the make-up bottle of ivory. There I am, finding you in blue birds.
You – fair and freckled-red.
You – bruised and blackberry-stained.
There you are at the table, eating
fried fish. There you are, pleading with your eyes,
Me – fair and freckled red.
Me – your daughter’s daughter.
You will not be condensed,
will not fall neatly into lines,
All this time assigning you to objects, and you slip right through.
All this time singing you into verse, and you float right by.
the poets go flying after you,
a bird just out of reach.