Touch: The Journal of Healing


Girls with Gardenias

    by Kristin Roedell

I think some of you

would have been musical

like my brother;

rhythms travel the pulsing red highways

and encrypt themselves in clustered cells.

You may have felt him play the pipes;

it filled my veins with immense

thrumming, like a midsummer beehive.

I’ve imagined you as tall grey-eyed

young men on a cabin porch

where I sit in a straight backed chair, squirrel

rifle over my knees

and the eyes of Katie Elder,

but in dreams you are

girls with corsages of gardenias

tied with ribbon to wrists

white and curved as handles

of china teacups.

When the night is still,

you have your own rhythm.

I cannot find an end to your voices,

and this is the source of the thrumming now.

If I planted a tree for each

a hundred years from now

they would dwarf my losses;

if I laid out white stones

the mist and the moss

could sleep there like lovers

and keep what they make.

If I gave up longing

perhaps I could hope to find you.

I do try to forget:

every cool touch I cannot lay on your brow,

every peppermint sticky hand

I cannot hold.

© 2010 Kristin Roedell

* Previously published in The Fertile Source

Kristin Roedell graduated from Whitman College (B.A. English 1984) and the University of Washington Law School (J.D. 1987).  Her poetry has appeared in Switched on Gutenberg, Ginosko, Flutter, Damselflypress, Chantarelle’s Notebook, Eclectica, Quill and Parchment (featured poet January 2010), Open Minds Quarterly, Ekphrasis, The Fertile Source, City Arts, Breath and Shadow, Pilgrimage, Cliterature, Metromania and Four and Twenty.  Other poems will appear in Chest, and Voice Catcher Anthology and Soundings Review.  Her chapbook, Seeing in the Dark, was published in 2009 by Tomato Can Press.


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Touch: The Journal of Healing

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