by Marc Frazier
What we spoke of at those times—
ordinary things like the weather,
the inner life of Midwesterners rarely spoken of.
Self-reflection a luxury of the lazy.
We sat outside so much growing up—
on the front porch, in the yard,
often before, during, or after a storm.
I remember mostly times with mother
who was usually in motion—a cracked artifact patched—
visibly stronger and more beautiful.
My sibs and I competed for her favor.
In our house there was always a storm before calm.
There is a great silence where she once sat,
so loud it is deafening.
A family fractures and no one can tell by looking at its parts.
We are the cracked trees of our youths’ ice storm
scattered throughout a broken world.
Where is the peace we were promised?
Why do I think that promise had been made—
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