Breadcrumb #486


In the forestry, my mother would build
litttle cobby houses from empty cans,
all moss and aluminum, the floor
made of orange peels from Sunday dessert

If she could build it, she could escape to it

More metal and flowerless plants:
next to fern and broken lorries
as a factory girl, each evening,
she stuck her thumb out.

Even the men from the village
who picked her up and
kneaded at her thighs knew:
she will one day build her own island.

Blueprints that came from holding her breath in a tractor
while it flattened the bog, the windows damp,
inhaling her father’s tobacco in a locked closet,
or falling backwards into a bucket of boiling water

In those moments, when she dissolved,
she decided to start building, told herself
“you could float through metal
if you’re promised your own final spring”

Sometimes she asks me about the taste in her mouth,
she’s swallowed flintstone and peat,
but cannot scrape it off
with our tools or a prayer,

I take her hands in mine and braid our fingers together;
I make tiny little islands with our knuckles;
here we grow our own trees

• • •