by Cyndie Randall
and you don’t know where we are. I’ve nothing to offer but
that deer there, cracked at the spine, oozing onto roadside rock –
I want him in this snow globe. Then,
it is a true world. Our paper weight contains
no performance. No darling on a bench wearing
ice skates, untied laces dangling. No
grinning snowman wrapped in a father’s cozy
scarf, tied so tenderly. Instead, animal gut smears across
the plastic sky, blurs the view. The crows look up
in turn to cackle. The train has just been through and
the smoke is hovering pale and the suicides
are many. The light is not ordinary.
I have just returned from the city. You present dinner –
home-cooked, candle shadow bobbing on the wall.
My shoulders bounce as one laughing. You think
you’ve welled a romance in me, cracked my code.
You don’t know, you don’t know that rest and peace are
threats to a spinning top. It is terror on the cheeks
I hold in my hands. But if you lift the lid off
the platter for me again, my love, offer to me
the snowman as a drink, a skate lace as a tourniquet,
a freight car as my escape – and let me
choose – I might see the breadth and depth of the story
in you. Might shout, “I know this song!” and the earth
could perk up, and the great hand could shake us,
and we could come alive together and dance,
a snow-blood mix raining on our hair. We could stumble into
new script lines and remember to smile. The first thing
we learned about being on stage is as simple as it is human –
We can know nothing beyond the warm light upon us,
know nothing about out there, except that it is
darkness, and it will be watching.
Cyndie Randall’s poems appear or are forthcoming in Frontier Poetry, DIAGRAM, Crab Creek Review, Longleaf Review, Aquifer: The Florida Review Online, Pithead Chapel, The Pinch, and others. She works as a therapist in a small town near Lake Michigan and is also a poetry contributing editor at Barren Magazine. Find her on Twitter @CyndieRandall or at cyndierandall.com.