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Terry Jude Miller: Four Poems

Selected by Alexis Rhone Fancher, Poetry Editor

Come and Go the Grackle

I am distracted by a grackle
clothed in iridescent shades of midnight,
secreted on a thin live oak branch.

I pause mid-stride to study him
studying me on the walking trail.

His eyes consider me in the mathematics
of bird logic, computing if I equate,
in some fashion, to a handful of sunflower seeds.

Unlike me, he does not recall his brother’s death.
His thoughts do not resonate with freshly poured grief.

I turn to see our mingled shadows behind me.
In the illusion of light and darkness,
he appears to be emerging from my head.

Before I can turn around, the bird launches his escape.
He snatches a scrap of me in his talons as he goes.

*

My Brother’s Workshop

Before he died,
my brother installed
a motion sensor
in his workshop.

Fluorescent light
spills over his tools
and worktables
when I enter.

His framing hammer,
handle worn by his
calloused grip,
naps silently beside
a roof-less bird house
he was building
for a granddaughter.

Mud-caked field boots in the corner
ache to walk his garden,
a sharpened shovel starves
for the taste of unturned earth.

Spiders weaved a hammock
of gossamer over the stopped
clock above the doorway.

I cannot find
what I was looking for,
so I pull the door
to an un-oiled close
as I exit. The lights inside
enter sleep.

*

Beauty in the Dust

dear brother, the world cracks open
and pours into the silent black mouth
of space, all that we poured into her,
the anger we spat into the air,
the sorrow we slipped between
blankets of mud, and
the excommunications we rolled
into the seas

all that traveled in fiery course
to the skirts of earth’s gravity
is free to roam the universe
once more, to carry the tear-drenched
kerchief of our weakness and strength
to the arms of some new world
where the smallest parts of us
are given chance again
to find meaning in the sunrise
and beauty in the dusk

*

Sunday Sail

wind, have your way with us
guide our sails in our blue sojourn
take us to where worry is renounced
and the sun, our only watcher

*

Book cover for The Drawn Cat's Dream by Terry Jude Miller

Front cover of THE DRAWN CAT’S DREAM by Terry Jude Miller

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