On the last night of their Florida vacation, my mother fell, walking back to the hotel on a dark path,
my father walking ahead in his light-colored shirt, making them visible to traffic, marking her way.
I like the telenovelas on Spanish tv; they come to an end instead of sliding into a long disastrous adventure
like the one that ruined Happy Days, though I was happy when Frasier had a life after Cheers.
On Sunday afternoon, I see her, home again. Straight on, her glasses in the way, I don’t see, at first, the magenta
shadow at the outer corner of her eye, like Björk making herself up for the awards show on television.
But from another angle, there it is. Time for the black leather jacket and water skis. Time for the sparkling leap.
Aging in Oak
1. If I’d been wiser, or a cooper, I wouldn’t lie
in this stopperless amphora leaking nothing
from its jagged end, once set in straw or sand, or racks to ride the sea.
I wouldn’t be such simultaneity of liquid and nothingness.
2. A cooper cuts and smooths green staves with an adze,
gives them a season in the air, letting tannin residue
fall dark and ashy to the zebraed ground.
What’s left can be heated, shaped into a barrel.
3. I was not modern and I lived in my mind. Tip me
into the bowl of your tall-stemmed glass, lipstick on its sterilized rim.
Swirl, and find me mellowed, after all, in oak,
faint hints of vanilla, cinnamon, cream, and smoke.
-- Kathleen Kirk is the author of four poetry chapbooks, most recently Nocturnes (Hyacinth Girl Press, 2012). Her work appears in numerous print and online magazines, including Arsenic Lobster, blossombones, Menacing Hedge, Fifth Wednesday, Poetry East, and Waccamaw. She is the poetry editor for Escape Into Life.