Were They Hands Would They Flower

Rob Schlegel

Why are you grieving?

Because the others are grieving.

You are not compelled to grieve independently?

The grass needs raking.

The grass?

The leaves. I will build a fence to keep them from the sea.

Then will you help the others?

Tollers ring bells even the dead can hear,
a ringing such that I am bound to.

And the leaves?

When they are taken by the waves I give them names,
desiring in this act a homecoming
to which I am constantly denied
on account of other people’s prayers.

More by Rob Schlegel

I Pack Her Suitcase with Sticks, Light the Tinder, and Shut the Lid

She used to sit on the forest floor 
and I would cut her hair until it piled up 
onto the ground, like ash.  

Tonight, her name is a leaf covering 
my left eye. The right I close 
for the wind to stitch shut with thread 

from the dress she wore into the grave 
where the determined roots of the tree 
are making a braid around her body.

Evergreen

I whisper to the tree, the tree,
the murmuring Tree
“I might take action”

Is romantic
Snow sun melts into streams increasing in volume
I control with my lips

Around History. Our eyes meet. White ancient
Roar I hear stream-
Side, my invisible dress threatening

A slow death. The rest I want to carry
So I listen
For the tree, and its never quite obsolete magic.