smoke from the same direction

What comes first: war or dysfunction? Through this window, out that door and up the mountain, grizzlies have always dined on moths. The cool and the quiet sweep the slow sky. Iron Nose turns to her and answers:  Any page with a name on it is a story with some pain.

He turns back to cooking on the single-burner propane stove. Careless grace. Baby reds and onions. Slices of thick bacon. He calls her Shatterhand, for the bucket she spills, the plates she drops. The knives lost in soapy water. But after the story stops, he’s the one who believes in her– she can start the rain.


Lift the latch.
Call me forward.
Escape the night, step through.


A movie: the title blurred. It is perhaps, 1939? War is delivered to the Chinese by the Japanese. Ruined sorrow. Opium. A social worker’s life is cupped in her lover’s hands for a moment, but he cannot save her from the smoke. More shell-like that a shell. She should know better, he thinks. She disagrees and asks him to understand:  It doesn’t take away the pain, but the pain no longer hurts.


Our town’s Little League team has made it to the World Series and Frankie doesn’t want to leave the lobby. The game is on the flat screen TV.

“Just a minute, ” he says to his wife who is waiting at the door, “I want to watch this.”

“But,” she protests, “we don’t have time to watch the game!”

“We’ll leave as soon as they show the parents in the stands,” he replies.

And so she stands at the door, buttoning her coat, repositioning her purse on her shoulder. Frankie leans closer to the TV and turns the volume up. Soon enough, ESPN pans the group of parents, crying in the stands.

“See?” Frankie nods his head, “I knew they would cry.”


I don’t remember where I put the linebreak, says the poet I call Astroguy. He closes his eyes and recalls the weight of midnight falling through his sky.

Lean into it/ just as you would want to /walk into the wind.



About redmitten

author of Cracking Geodes Open, Making Good Use of August, and The Peppermint Bottle. poetry editor for IthacaLit. website:

8 responses to “smoke from the same direction

  1. A marvelously evocative way to start my day!

  2. I’m glad I came in to read you today. It was a treat to enter each world, and feel I learned something to carry with me!

  3. So glad to have discovered your excellent blog.
    Just about quirky enough for me!
    I’m going to add it to my NY blog sidebar so I’ll get to read it often.
    All best wishes for a peaceful Thanksgiving

and then you said:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 52 other followers

%d bloggers like this: