On the graffitied park bench 
between the meditation pool 
and broken sundial, her mother 
embroiders falling pomegranate 
blossoms to t-shirts. She hooks 
an armpit, hoists herself treeward—
petals slalom for joy in petering 
eddies. They weave broken light 
in their corkscrew descent—they 
flirt and wink at her. She skirts 
and kicks the trunk, clutches 
the rigid branches, unleashes torrents 
of forlorn sorcery upon her mother.  
Her mother hasn’t enough fingers 
to stitch them back up into blossom. 
Now willing to sacrifice anything, 
she pounds the bark, implores for more.

[James Siegel’s poetry and prose are forthcoming or have appeared in, among others, Sonic Boom, With Painted Words, The Lost Sparrow, The Modern Review, The Oklahoma Review, the Lynx Theatre Company in NYC, The Paterson Literary Review, CAIRN, The New York Times, The Caribbean Writer, Off the Coast, The Cherry Blossom Review, Argestes Literary Review, and Beloved on the Earth: 150 Poems of Grief and Gratitude. He holds an MFA from USM’s Stonecoast and a BFA from Brooklyn College. He is a Consultant for Portland Public Schools and lives with his wife and greyhound in Portland, Maine.]

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