Five-Day Present for Aunt Ollie

Having traveled together I was late, a
satchel full of purpose, stolen attempts
disrupting rooms and waking thought
with miscellaneous trips outside; in real life
I had no passport and you had no phone.
We relied on the little one to bring us
home, the beard drove his car through
an elevator and up, and I was late, they
would not wait for me.

There are people in their tiny blue
houses and that’s important. April,
a light on for most flowers, March
I wasn’t ready. The lamp safe like
a well, a room wishing particles and
a blue something else in your mind
like plaid, like blankets will make
the lots faced daily any easier to
bear, I was a girl

I was a plain-hearted girl with a house
always there beneath the real states
just wavering. Bemused to swim again
I bought trousers—why not trade
bravery for song—I put them on
and walked to town, the sky was
putting itself on fire. All these books,
they’re too much, I’ll not read
them, no, let’s send them

back to the woman who wrote
them. I’ll still be here, respectfully
advocating the finite stories the
men told me, I was eating breakfast
with my father when the news came
on, the walls were green then, we
were having eggs. So many times
we’re thrust upon ourselves and
so what? Well, I was

sleeping and woke to the cluttered
sound of an old pine hitting the
garage, it was at once spectacular and
bad as if ways of seeing were named
after a woman without sounding or if
windows could buy themselves
outright, before centuries—I’ll gladly
pay for the whole world to see
what could be done

concerning elegance, sped-up casting
of others. When sleep is worn I try
on walls in different colors to think
of short distant travel. Novel forms
are over but we aren’t done yet,
doubling back on the day I found
patterns, you were of the pattern
on the wind, it fell into our rooms
without asking.

Amanda Nadelberg (© 2014)