From the archives – You sped off in angry darkness and struck something hard. by Kelley J. White

You sped off in angry darkness and struck something hard.

Turning back, you cupped two hands around the shell
of the broken turtle, to ease it to a place
where it would be more comfortable in dying

down by the river, the flat slap of dark water dying
beneath a dim streetlight, beside the shells
of broken factories, an empty silent place

you knew alone. You moved gently to a place
of moss and sand, a soft cool place for dying,
to honor to be faithful to the turtle, the shell

pealed from her tender dying places; you broke your shell.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, February 20, 2017 — by Kelley J. White

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim.

You sped off in angry darkness and struck something hard. by Kelley J. White

You sped off in angry darkness and struck something hard.

Turning back, you cupped two hands around the shell
of the broken turtle, to ease it to a place
where it would be more comfortable in dying

down by the river, the flat slap of dark water dying
beneath a dim streetlight, beside the shells
of broken factories, an empty silent place

you knew alone. You moved gently to a place
of moss and sand, a soft cool place for dying,
to honor to be faithful to the turtle, the shell

pealed from her tender dying places; you broke your shell.

by Kelley J. White

Editor’s Note: The poet introduced me to this form (a tritina—a mini sestina), and as with other forms dependent on repetition, this poem uses the technique to emphasize the underlying emotional narrative with great effect.

From the archives – I knew I’d lost you — Kelley J. White

bird jewelry

I knew I’d lost you

on your tenth birthday. Your father pierced
your ears. Walked into my house with surgical
instruments—and you chose it, though I,
I’d reached forty, I liked to say, intact—
no physical alterations, no piercings, tattoos,
scarifications. I didn’t even wear jewelry
or make-up. But you perched on a kitchen stool
and I ran, put your little brother and sister
in the car and cried injustice into your
grandmother’s laundry basket (while she taught
them to fold.) That was the year your aunts
gave you a cookbook and you started to make
an art out of chocolate. I swallowed, hard,
and grew.

from Autumn Sky Poetry 6 — by Kelley J. White

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim