Ben Ledbetter, Architect CC
AFTER CLOUDS, THE TREES RAIN
A singing of sirens comes over
The neighborhood in which I now live
Reminding us to feel
The music in this stillness and I try.
What I want are these rumbles of hum
To spill from windows like the thrill
Of light on grass. In at least one of these
Homes, someone is either taking
Another’s grief or handing their own
To someone else. What I mean to say,
Every kitchen on this street
Has someone dancing in it
Or someone finding meaning in living
Only half a life. I like to think
Of the mother after the divorce
And how teaching her son to move
His feet in tempo, to hold up his palm,
Is a form of sympathy.
He learns we hold on to compliments
The same way we hold on to the body
Of whom we love, clinging,
As if to stop the body dying
Into itself. She understands loneliness
Passes like one hears the moment
Between a breath and an exhale.
Her hand rests on his shoulder.
Softly, perhaps, hard to say
If it ever was before.
They both close their eyes and step
Into a twirl. She cries. He laughs.
Both for the first time in three months.
Tyler Michael Jacobs is the author of Building Brownville (Stephen F. Austin State University Press, 2022). His words have appeared in Pidgeonholes, Sierra Nevada Review, Thin Air Magazine, White Wall Review, Funicular Magazine, and elsewhere. His poems have also been featured on Nebraska Public Media’s Friday LIVE! He is a first-year poetry MFA candidate at Bowling Green State University.
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