I was standing in the town square
staring up at trees spiraling
down on their bulky heads
and landing with their roots
thrust up like errant toes
or fingers from a grave.
I heard the houses bellow as they
gave up, as their shoulders sagged
and snagged star by star
like the back of a black coat
catching white lint bit by bit.
When the city fell from the sky,
I covered my ears as atonal notes
from that final fugue stuttered
like old blood from the ripped
linen bandages of the clouds.
And here, now — even in the safety
of the here-to-stay dark:
the slow play and re-play
of that black-and-white still,
of that father’s fist clenching
and unclenching his son’s hand
before he let him go.
Lisa Alexander Baron: Her most recent book is While She Poses, a collection of poems prompted by visual art (Aldrich P, 2015). She is a writing and speech coach and teaches at LaSalle University in the business school.