The Jacques Prévert poster skims above the mantel,
flanked by my kitschy altar to the dead: bears and frogs,
ashes and candles, the Balinese puppet.
Dust is thick but somehow holy,
if it’s not just my laziness, which is unequivocal.
The heat of the day slowly builds and layers
the house, pinning me like a specimen moth.
As the central figure in the Prévert,
a girl, paused gingerly on a tightrope
tilted down, holds a long balance pole with arrowed tip.
Surrounded by the busyness of the world, she’s focused
on the wire, the pinhole at the end, else she might find herself
a commemoration, a shiny silver figure
keeping company with my husband (pictured), on the rugged
Northwest coast, and my mother (pictured), both
with walking sticks in hand. They no longer need to watch their step.
They’ve fallen, in the same stunned year.
They fell like wings released.
Mercedes Lawry has published poetry in such journals as Poetry, Nimrod, Prairie Schooner, Harpur Palate, Natural Bridge, and others, including Switched-On Gutenberg. Thrice-nominated for a Pushcart Prize, she’s published two chapbooks, most recently Happy Darkness. She’s also published short fiction, essays and stories and poems for children and lives in Seattle.
Copyright 2017, Mercedes Lawry