Set it aside, regret, heal. Grieve
till the soil’s ebony heart  
devours your secrets. Believe,
in agony, what falls apart,
disintegrates at your feet. Art
rends your flesh: nervous I transmit
false signals, flinch when I should start,
weep when I should wave, counterfeit
my life’s lessons. Mosquitoes flit
through the unscreened window. Do I
ever claim this life as misfit,
as hopeful dupe? Watch the man lie
and conspire. Swat at the bugs. Lift
the mottled spade. Accept this shift.



* * *


“Flinch” first appeared  in Grand Little Things, a publication that “embraces versification, lyricism, and formal poetry,” in July 2020.

Thank you, editor Patrick Key, for taking this piece.

4 thoughts on “Flinch

  1. 2020 flashbacks are par for my course this month, no surprise that I don’t remember this poem even though I’d saved a copy of it in my Okaji file (but w/o the cool image) … and no surprise that reading it today triggers “flinches” from a year ago. “Grieve till the soil’s ebony heart devours your secrets” – this may be my August mantra for years to come! I’ve begun the scattering of ashes, a WIDE scattering across locations in multiple states where my son chose to live. Thus far, the process has surely included some flinching reluctance, as well as weeping relief, collectively I can attest to a very legitimate life lesson (a huge shift in confidence, expectations) in process – for me and for my daughter, who will go with me to Minnesota over Thanksgiving to scatter abundantly.
    This is another of your poems that leave space for reader’s personal association. Thank you for the mirror. I didn’t see it coming, but hindsight is clear: this role I’m now in is no misfit, is rather a steep challenging learning curve opportunity. I do accept this shift.

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.