Sestina of a Storm

Inside the pane, snowflakes resume falling.
She watches a screen diagram blue radar ripples,
a cyber shore-break of storm stacked on storm,
and dreams she is swimming inside the snowy house,
between the cresting drifts, searching for a memory,
the echo of a song.

It reminds her of him, this song.
She leans into sleep and soon she is falling
into the sea of cortex and the memory
of a voyage through blue hemispheres and tidal ripples.
He lived on a sailboat then, his vessel house,
thirty feet of fiberglass to take them through the storm.

This was not his first storm,
so he soothed his progeny crew with a shanty song
full of sailors’ words not allowed in their mother’s house.
The boom swung, and they clung to rails of polished teak, falling
down the prow into the centers of concentric ripples
expanding and expanding like the beginnings of a memory

that stretches beyond memory,
past the grey matter of a Pacific storm,
and deep into the undersea ripples
of a lifetime or more, where if a girl is lucky, a pirate song
might send her mind a’ falling
through the temporal house

of her own innocence, so that perhaps within the blue house
of her adulthood, she will recall how to fashion a sturdy sail from a moonlit memory
and winch the halyards tight, even now, as the mercury is falling.
To trust the wind is to fathom the subtlety of storm,
so she sights her sextant with a song,
humming softly beneath ripples

of cloud and sky, celestial ripples
turned to diamonds over a winter’s house,
battened down this night with a mother’s song –
the newest pebble in a pool of memory,
as Polaris glows softly through the storm,
by the moon forever falling.

Stories make ripples like skipping stones, and memory
surrenders, like a quiet house, to each passing storm,
while the waves play their endless song, and the snow just keeps on falling.

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Books

Before you died,
you told me
that these shelves

would look better filled
with books. This little house
has since become

a home,
rooms overflowing
with the footprints

of my children
and the voices
of friends. Our lives,

a stacking
of sweet and tattered
imperfections,

resemble now
these beautiful
bursting shelves,

now dusty, and topped
with your alabaster urn,
silver in the moonlight.