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by Jim Zola
Not knowing how or when, the poem becomes
a crystal ornament smashed beneath
a black boot heel, a son tossing
his father's bag-of-bones body
against the kitchen wall and later
regretting a broken plate. It's blue,
something his wife picked up at a yard sale
years before and in another town.
She said the plate once belonged
to a Russian Prince who ate canned peas
every day. The only time the Prince
was truly happy was when he picked
a bucket of ripe strawberries
in Horodok in June, the light
scattered through a net of dying branches.
The berries were delicious and red.
This is my assumption, my right
to assume. Your hair may have been
berry red for all I know. This
isn't a poem about that. It's about
light, the branch, the sound a plate makes
when it hits tile, the dry crack
of a thief's leg bone, the second nail
through the thin wrist, strawberries
served on a cracked blue platter
just before the movie begins.