Touch: The Journal of Healing


Field Guide

    by Kristin Roedell

You loved me.

I rolled my sleeves down that year –

fall, your fingerprints

were like the blackberries in our yard;

spring, you threw my keys into the gully.

I wore my hair long to hide my neck,

but friends knew.

When I missed a coffee date,

they sent a sheriff in the rain

to look for me in puddled ditches.

You loved me.

I owe you a debt for the daughter

who has your grey eyes

and doesn’t know it.

I think of you when the geese leave the lake.

They soar—

I remember birds in cages,

and things that do not fly,

but you loved me.

Now, in summer,

I dive from the dock,

my arms and legs like frost,

my hair beneath a cap;

the laughter of friends on the sand

does not pause.

I could almost give you

a hushed kiss

for every lesson you taught me,

but the kisses would line up like women

waiting in court

for restraining orders.

You loved me.

This is as near a love song

as I will write to you.

At night my husband pillows

his head against my breast.

If there is an indentation

where your ghost lies,

he rolls his broad freckled back

against the sheets,

and you are no longer there.

The bruised map

you drew led me straight to him.

© 2010 Kristin Roedell

Kristin Roedell graduated from Whitman College (B.A. English 1984) and the University of Washington Law School (J.D. 1987).  Her poetry has appeared in Switched on Gutenberg, Ginosko, Flutter, Damselflypress, Chantarelle’s Notebook, Eclectica, Quill and Parchment (featured poet January 2010), Open Minds Quarterly, Ekphrasis, The Fertile Source, City Arts, Breath and Shadow, Pilgrimage, Cliterature, Metromania and Four and Twenty.  Other poems will appear in Chest, and Voice Catcher Anthology and Soundings Review.  Her chapbook, Seeing in the Dark, was published in 2009 by Tomato Can Press.


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Touch: The Journal of Healing

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