View Archives by:


Wool-Gathering (I)

Trina Burke

This is the final day. This is the final day when metallic scraping stands hair on end. Placed end-to-end a hair length forms. Braided end-over-end, a rope. Specifically, a means of escape. There is no need to frighten the children so. You might say these fantasies are merely funhouse mirrors. Nothing is fun without an element of fear. Do you look over your shoulder when you brush your teeth? The lace of waning light through needle pine. Is it past your bedtime? Breadcrumbs and bear traps. A stroll, meandering, a hike begun in broad daylight. A minor miscalculation. A last loss lost. A chance. What have you to lose? A game of Black Peter. Odd man out. This is my handle and this is my spout. What was she singing, floating down the stream? A minor mismanaged scream. Sound effects of a forest horror. Crane your neck to search thicket, copse and bush. Spread a wide net, step an imaginary grid. As children, we threw crushed clay into the wet—a billowing water cloud of rust—called it blood, felt it bloodlust. What shouldn’t we smash? What should? We were walking frenzy. Swinging vines and grappling bark. Impeccable balance coupled with clumsy minds. Caught up in shadowy rooms, how could they ever coax Why don’t you go outside? Shy? All gold and too bright, it hurts my eyes. My think can make a jungle of any room. A spelling cast of cabinets and doom. The yip-yip dogs clacking jaws will only follow as far as the street corner.

Trina Burke

Read Bio

Author Discusses Poems