Excerpts > Fall 2006
Frannie Lindsay

Thirty-Year Meditation on an Act of Violence

Sun through my white skirt,
trees with their backs turned,

boot prints I knew had been
on the stairs all this time;

air that believed me, weeknight air
I breathed a minute ago,

oh unsweet dark, if my eyes
never close again on their own

I will keep the broken-off
piece of my key, the child’s tooth

under its pillow; do you
have the rest, the part

the lock knows
by feel, and can you

give it to someone
for me?


My father is crying because he has just been told
he can have his recliner from home.

He does not want his recliner from home, or
his desk, or his books, or pictures of us, or him,

when young. The things he loves that are there,
that he left, there, in that vacant place, behind,

must be angry at him. He misses them
but he can only stammer to please not bring them,

no. He is afraid of their shouting, and so he does not
want these things

in this room that has room now only for him, him
and his crying.

"Thirty-Year Meditation on an Act of Violence" and “Crying,” copyright © 2006 by Frannie Lindsay. Reprinted from Lamb, with the permission of Perugia Press, Florence, MA.

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