For the New Year

Forgive me—
I have not been easy:
the cracked jewel of my mouth bleeding its broken light;
my tongue grating, its blush-and-garnet blaze.

And what is difficult is not more elegant
(as I once believed),
And what is splintered no more stunning to behold.

Each time I forget how to write a poem,
how to weave these fish nets flapping with sound
and slice them, skillful, on the margined board.

Some days we forge our love like soldiers,
with the war so far beyond—
word comes from a distance: gun smoke, then a gutted trench of clouds.

Forgive me—
I have listened, but not always heard.
I have made words more important than language.

And they come marching, my mother with her hatchet raised,
my father with glass in his hands, cutting and cutting.
We have our canon, we have our splintered and elegant speech

Here on the home front, let us tend this fire:
your gold hearth gleaming—
my scuttle scarred—
our heavy breath the heat that fills the room.

Julie Marie Wade is a three-time Pushcart-Prize nominee and has received the Chicago Literary Award in Poetry, the Gulf Coast Nonfiction Prize, the Oscar Wilde Poetry Prize, and the Literal Latte Nonfiction Award. She completed a Master of Arts in English at Western Washington University in 2003 and a Master of Fine Arts in Poetry at the University of Pittsburgh in 2006. She lives with Angie and their two cats in rural Ohio, where she teaches humanities at a college preparatory boarding school. (woollysheep2@hotmail.com)

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761