Between Worlds; Wavering Place by Diana Pinckney

Between Worlds

for Margie

Her arms flutter, as if
                  to flee her body, the milk
glass hands skimming sheets
                  like autumn wings:
thumb and fingers open and close,
                  perhaps to pluck a word,
sometimes pointing to say
                  a name or spread
into a trembling fan as lungs surge
                  inside her chest, the way
that burst of sparrow, trapped
                  on my sun porch, charged
the frantic air, beating,
                  beating against God’s hard light.


Wavering Place


I’m slowly bringing things back, clearing
the old path through these trees. My friend circles
an arm over a splintered bench where we swelter
this August noon. A lunch with the past, sandwiches
under oaks, tomatoes he seeded, salted
and drained. Slick glasses of tea instead of the Purple
Jesus we shared in college. Grandfather drank it

out of the family, he says of the white columned
house, the land he has bought back. Inside, room
after high-ceilinged room, massive fireplaces, fractured
plaster, carved mantles holding art propped,
most unframed. One in gold gilt he hands
to me. My son’s. Painted the year
he died. We sketched all over Italy.
Turning away—Read what he wrote,

if you want, but not out loud. Words
scrawled across the back of a canvas—grove
of cypress lit by a cracked moon—a long note
thanking a father for good
and bad. We were becoming
closer, he says from the doorway. And then.
From rumor, I see
his son gunning a sporty car

into the trunk of an oak. Years away, I know
nothing. Stopping at an unfinished
self-portrait, he smiles at the unsmiling
man in the painting. Well, there I am, still working
on things. Still here. Through a floor-length
window, the towering trees
splinter in rippled glass.

Diana Pinckney
Diana Pinckney has published in such journals as Green Mountains Review, Iodine, Calyx, Rhino, Cave Wall, other magazines & anthologies. She has four collections of poetry, the most recent, Green Daughters, published in 2011. She is the winner of Atlanta Review’s 2012 International Poetry Prize.

Follow us!
Share this post with your friends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *