making unexpected turns john-mark-smith-F_cHIM0Kcy4-unsplash.jpg

Making Unexpected Turns

Poet:  Judy Kaber

Fingers closed around the pen strangling it in that odd way, thumb clenched

and your mind drifting out the window, back to the crippled shed into the world 

 

where spiders dwell. I try to follow you from a knotty distance, thinking this

might give me answers, sentences I could understand. Locked in the realm 

 

of toasters and clocks where things move in predictable ways, I take pictures,

press the shutter of yes and no. Will the camera flash now and catapult you 

 

to a flat stance, your face somehow smiling the way faces must, your arm 

thrown up, your legs thrust straight out, not the image that returned 

 

each day from school. Which picture do I keep of you beneath my bed among 

the dusty boxes, which to ponder and listen to in the night? How is it my love 

 

has grown as tight as an old shirt, while you wear hats like birds and bushes 

cocked jauntily to one side? I cannot grasp the point where you begin 

 

and I end, cannot fathom how you rise up and then lie down again.

Judy Kaber is currently the Poet Laureate of Belfast, Maine, as well as the author of three chapbooks: Renaming the Seasons, In Sleep We Are All the Same, and A Pandemic Alphabet. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in publications such as Atlanta Review, december, Crab Orchard Review, Hunger Mountain, and Spillway.  She won the Maine Postmark Poetry Contest, the Larry Kramer Memorial Chapbook Contest, and second place in the 2016 Muriel Craft Bailey Poetry Contest. She is currently a finalist in the Maine Literary Awards Short Works Category.