Barbara Novack

I was the wild tree
that grows in sidewalk cracks,
braving life that will not yield:
I would not yield.
I was golden yellow light,
an intensity tolerated because the days are long
and the nights are balmy
and the breeze is soft on naked skin.
Summer presses but does not push.
I was the storm that quick-darkens
and flashes light
and rolls its sound across the sky,
breaking solid blocks of heat
to pebble drops
on windowpanes.
I was calico,
a madness of color
that makes people smile.

I was youth,
merely a mood
that changed.

The tree was pulled up by the roots,
the street repaved.
Golden yellow light faded
to autumnal dusk.
The storm aged, white and silent
and cold.
And the calico was cut
to a pattern.

I remember the fireflies
I used to catch and bottle
to own their light,
to save a beauty
that gasped and died.

And only now
can I empathize.


Copyright © Barbara Novack All Rights Reserved.

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