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.]