Issue Thirty-Two - Summer 2018

As If We’d Walked Through Fire Together

By Kay Mullen

In the back yard of my neighbor’s house,
a face forms from corkscrew willow:
hair line and brows of twigs, the branch end’s
dark eyes partially hidden by ferns.

My sister’s features brighten in the sun’s
slant as if wanting to know what she didn’t
when she was alive, as if wanting to share,
eager to listen now that secrets no longer

exist. Now that walls of silence open as air,
we speak to each other, go back
to beginnings, unroll the unknowns, turn
the key to the unopened trunk with its secret

contents. Finally we gather the scattered
threads into bouquets of understanding
as if we’d walked through fire together
and come back singing.

When the sun slips, my sister’s face
slowly flows into shadow. All that remains:
her receding eyes and laughter,
the sound as it fades.

Copyright Mullen 2018