Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsSpring 2018  Vol. 17 No. 1
an online journal of literature and the arts
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Crib Loss
—a dizain sequence

Too brief, the voice under their shingled dome—
too small, the cell dislodged into silence.
It ventured out, was out-ventured, close to home,
like an echo, dwindling. In a sense,
they would trade time for timelessness, intense
embrace that cast no shadows, flowed inward.
Don’t children grow as weeds? They remarked,
against all endings. They thought only one thing:
to save her. In her crib, in the backyard,
until they could no longer.Night chasing.

At dawn, they pulled the porch slats for a box,
a gentle carpenter carved into it,
first a tendril, then a garland of phlox,
semblance of the new season, an admit-
tance to the country just beyond. Commit-
ting childhood to forever or afar
exceeds their imagination; they pore
over black-and-white sketches, a sparrow
on a grey stone. Nowhere is there a color
for breath or breeze,the wind aching to blow.

Brevity in the life of a squall and its flight.
Whether lasting or not, the baby’s mat
was laid, its corners, neat; the bedroom, light
and airy. Spring birth. Her cry had come at
five. They heard it, and with it the air that
slipped her lungs, the tiptoe-tread of grief; through
a door they had not left ajar, out to
a yard they’d never seeded. Theirs, the way
of hedges, fences, roads—boulders in blue-
grey shadows. Hers, the green grass of day.  

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