Branch

1

October 6, 2014 by rebelwithalabelmaker

Me: Did you read that love poem I wrote for you?


Gary: What love poem?


Me: It’s on your email.


Gary: I didn’t see it. Can you look through the fridge and see if we have more butter?


Me: It might be attached to the email with the grocery list.


Gary: Did you text the plumber?


Eric (in what I might optimistically describe as the “background”): Die Zombie Pigment, DIE!!!


Me: Aren’t you going to go read the love poem?


Gary: Right now? The chicken would burn.


Anthony: MATEYYYYO!!! Stop being such a butt-crack!!!


Me: Look. What is more important. True love or supper?


Gary: I’m hoping to play my cards right and have both.


#‎romanceintheseconddecade

Branch

“my fingers are bleeding again”
is what I meant to tell you
on the ride home from Church
as I held the red tips up for you to see.

when it formed in my mind, it was
more of a complaint
but my mouth would not allow this

my lips, curled in the semi circle grin
of a new moon
coloured my words with joy and possibility

“my fingers are
blooming
again”

is what came out

I didn’t even know I was smiling
until I saw my reflection
in the broad way you were grinning
back at me.

Fact is,
the hymn sucked.

Fact is,
the guitar’s strings wriggled and underneath my swollen fingers
and shrieked
like mice caught in a trap.

Fact is,
a year ago I was succeeding at
everything I touched, wringing straight A’s out of a tired and
bored brain.

And now I am
like a toddler banging on a piano

Same musical ability.
Same exuberance.

Fact is,
I am ten times happier
failing
wildly
at this

I got home and wrote
for days

I lived in a daze of forgotten, oversteeped tea
and new poetry
My fingers sliding to the computer keys the minute I stopped paying attention
like a young tree branch that whips back
the moment you let go

I would try to do the dishes
I would.
and that just resulted in
soap suds on the keyboard

And so we descend a bit into chaos
Like when I was first learning trapeze, that one summer
and we pretty much lived in the trees of the park
and ate garden tomatoes and baguettes for supper three nights in a row
the red juice squirted out and stung my palms
where new calluses were forming

why is it
that whenever I am happiest
my hands always seem to be bleeding?

That one summer,
in that first trapeze year,
was when I stopped wearing a wedding ring.

I meant to have it resized to accommodate
the changing shape of my hands, but it seems like
they have never stayed still
long enough

You didn’t mind.
You never wore a ring, yourself.
Too much of a nuisance, you said, for someone who works with their hands

I used to wonder if it meant something, made us less committed
that we let those symbols slide away from us so easily
I would see photos of old married couples holding hands with matching rings and
try to remember where I left mine
guiltily aware of our naked, blistered, interlocking fingers

Now, I don’t miss it.
Our hands would look strange to me
enclosed by something so unalive
as metal

I do not want a symbol
that can’t change shape to meet
whatever it is
we are reaching for next

I am much happier with calluses
than with diamonds

P.S.  You’ve already seen this video.  I just couldn’t resist including it… feeling all nostalgic and all.  Feel blessed that there are no guitar videos, yet, people.  Feel very blessed.

One thought on “Branch

  1. Jane Ebbern says:

    Loved the poem, Branch (didn’t know you were a poet but am very impressed!) and the trapeze video at the end brought back lots of wonderful memories of a trapeze lesson in Toronto with you several years ago. Keep on flying through the air. Jane

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