Ronda Piszk Broatch
Bio Note: I’m new here, but have written since the mid-70’s, my first attempt being a retelling of Dracula when I was 12. Back in my U of Washington days, Nelson Bentley and Charles Johnson were the ones to really spark my love of poetry and writing. I live in the small town of Kingston on the Olympic Peninsula, and am the author of Lake of Fallen Constellations, (MoonPath Press). My journal publications include Blackbird, Missouri Review, and Public Radio KUOW’s All Things Considered.
From This Small Spot on the Good Earth
The moon, drunk on honeysuckle took its time to rise. Sometimes we need to rescue what we love in order to marvel at it, reach a hand beneath its soft bones and lift it up. Call it self-preservation, the way I require the moon’s approval, always taking her portrait from the only angle she gives me. I seek wisdom in a moonlit field, forgetting the unplugged sun is the moon’s loss. Perhaps I need only to stand here, my camera’s hunger unrestrained, letting it stray, the better to capture what’s so far distant. Maybe if I keep what I love beneath my eyelids, love will never leave. When the world goes toward its destruction without me on it, my one sweet hope will be never to fall through your fingers.
At One Point You’ll Have to Be Good
reach into the brightness and pull out a word. Some birds have feathers but cannot wing. Our best escape is to dive into surf, or slice the sky reflecting it. Every time I tried, I got stuck between almost and not quite. I’d try to explain lilies but the scent scolds me into submission. Sometimes we Bogart, swizzle gin and slur at the piano. At one point we put aside charm, smear suave away with heel of hand, find a little clarity at the bottom of the glass. It takes a lot of moxy to be a lily, to copy the industry of bees. Each time I sit between lava and the South Pole I weep for the glaciers. Write me an addendum to the manual for the world. Court me with a riot of kindness, of blossoms red enough to break me alive. How many times must I open the wardrobe of my past to find what led me to now? How many ancestors does it take to change the future? Under water there are boulders no one knows about. Close to shoreline, full of secrets, rooted deep. Strange the shape of life’s poem. Strange the people who bring us to water, strange the milk-honey of language spoken in films, where the male lead snares his love with a crooked smile, a few bars played in lounge time, that of all the gin joints you’ve chosen mine. In a gallery of theories you’ll have to decide which one speaks of thorns, which one seems sweet enough to break the toxic motherness tied to our ankles for what breaks us into wonderment. Write me a loophole that tethers me, moon-snail to wedding dress, gin joint to red riot of roses, that feathered, we possess the ability to fly.
Originally published in Birdcoat Quarterly, 2020
©2022 Ronda Piszk Broatch
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