Asleep in the Woods
Still dark. I’m fixing soup.
Flashing silver knife point, the flesh of the open
pepper, steam rising
from the stove, melting
the icing on the countertops.
of chopped onion is sharp against the sugar cloud that settles
through the house.
Red lollipop drips into my gray hair
and licorice bouquets wilt
in four-foot flower pots.
The nightmare always begins
with their sweet fingers pressing against my back, insistent
pushing through the charred edges.
I hear her feet: oh, I know it, the sound
on the ceiling,
cold on the uncovered floorboards,
now into her brother’s room,
to bury her check against his, warm from sleep.
He’ll open his eyes, but they’ll fall back
into the long tunnel of their dreams.
The path of crumbs: the crows ate it years ago.
And so they’ll stay. A last embrace.
I cannot capture it.
Evening, By the Woods
The children are watching cartoons.
From the windows, all day
only snow falling
into hoof prints of passing deer.
Now, the curtain of white melts
into the center of an open eye.
My son asks
A pot foams between my hands.
What’s intergalactic? What’s repent?
His face the color of sun-baked sand
splashed with freckles. Just picked
raspberries: hold them
carefully, they crush
in the breeze, drip
down your arm. Eat them
quick. What’s inexcusable?
Boredom runs through my veins
like alcohol, straight up.
A green olive, whole, stuffed
with blood red pimento. I think
of New England winters, Salem, 1692,
my heavy skirts brushing against the iced field,
looking for dried leaves
to put into the tea.
I wear no hat or coat;
my hair flaps like tethered snakes.
The babies are
My lips are stone.
Love flames, but is
300 years ago
they strung up
JACQUELINE REICHMAN has been writing poems all her life. For a period of time, she worked with the poets Anneliese Wagner and Thomas Lux. Publications include Poetry and Audience. A former lawyer, she is presently a teacher and lives in Westchester County, New York.