August 7, 2013
Sometimes you get low enough
to recall how you once stood against the fence
holding your poor 8-year old girl baseball mitt with the hole in the pocket
that you tied together with white string.
And how the girl standing next to you,
the one with the same brown brokenness in her eyes,
the same terror that seeps into your tiny-girl pupils
and paints them over for no one in particular to notice,
peed herself at the sight of the man
in the blue overalls sitting in the bleachers.
You remember how you picked her up and marched her
through the needles of grass
to the water fountain at the edge of the park to clean up.
Now you wish you would’ve kissed the curves of her eyelids,
placed a new life
at her feet.
On a silent, purple morning
you sit on the porch.
A tough gust of wind shakes the shabby screen.
Soon you will depend on the maple leaves
to fall. To pour into your front yard like the sweet boy
next door who carries his tiny sister against his chest
and smiles at her.
You can never get over how transparent and pure
he is, like water you can see yourself
in on your darkest night.
Annmarie O'Connell is a lifelong resident of the Southside of Chicago and a graduate of New England College's MFA program in Henniker, New Hampshire. Her work has appeared in A-Minor Magazine, THRUSH Poetry Journal, SOFTBLOW and other fine places. Her chapbook, Her Last Cup of Light, was recently published by Aldrich Press.