Touch: The Journal of Healing


Percussion of Valentine’s Day

    by Yvette Wiley

As my beauty falls into the age of grace

it’s the black silk threads of your hair

blowing across the coal in your eyes

that keeps our friendship living,

and your hands, thick and wild,

with the speed of a hummingbird’s wings,

whip fire to the drums with the sound

of Cuba.


Melodic angels rode on a cool breeze

as your fingers ran up and down the ivory

on that night cusped by spring.

An ether of notes spoke to me

in a strange 6/8 time.



unlike any I had ever heard,

cloaked my curiosity with intensity

as I noted the oddities surrounding you.

Books stored in kitchen cabinets;

Partially painted canvases tilted

against cracked plaster;

Pictures of Picasso and Jung;

and a refrigerator, empty,

but for curdled milk and beer.


Congas flanked the upright,

and my youth was hidden beneath

pseudo combat gear, a shield of chic,

the style of the time, but I

was a quarter note slow for preparation

of midnight races down poverty alley.

The dancer and the drummer,

became laced and glued by the DNA

of their daughter.


Yes, I know the hour, and the minute

that Suzanne pronounced you,

nine days before your 64th.

Your lungs rattled all night

before the day of your demise,

but it’s the synchronicity of your life

I choose to remember

for your birthday,


© 2009 Yvette Wiley

Yvette Wiley is a half Native American from the Muscogee Creek Tribe, and she lives in Tulsa, OK.  She raised her daughter, earned a B.S. in biology, and works in the environmental and natural resources field.  Poetry is a creative expression of the culture and the heartbeat of the lives which surround her.  She has one previous publication in the Journal, The Externalist.


Copyright © 2009

Touch: The Journal of Healing

All rights reserved.