Hand-me-downs – Karen Dennison

Hand-me-downs

Last night I had that dream;
I was being chased but my feet
were set in concrete. And waking,
my thumb is jerking like a tadpole hatching.

Half-asleep, I picture my grandfather
shrinking in a tunnel of hallway.
He tries to shift a leg but his soles
have grown roots that burrow the carpet.

His left hand twitches at his hip, fingers bent,
twig-stiff. His right is bud-tight, a wax-white fist.
It’s then I wonder, thumb grazing palm,
if he’s given me his hands, their terrible gift.

 

Karen Dennison’s (kdennison.wordpress.com) poetry has been published in magazines and anthologies. Her first collection, Counting Rain, was published by Indigo Dreams in 2012. She has designed several poetry collection book covers and is co-editor of Against the Grain Poetry Press.

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It’s 3am – Karen Dennison

It’s 3am

and the seagulls are screeching, insisting
I think of you in the photograph
racing past seaside chalets,
hair swinging.

I run us backwards,
emptying shoes of sand,
days of beaches, nights of stories.

Your house at the end of our road
has become a legend, like a film star
who died too young. It rises
brick-by-brick around me.

We’re in the dark mouldy basement,
discovering the corpse’s hair
is just a mop propped up at the grating.

I’m holding a miniature bottle of rose-petal
perfume we decanted, neck closed
with a rubber stopper; our promises
scrolled up tightly inside it.

 

Karen Dennison’s (kdennison.wordpress.com) poetry has been published in magazines and anthologies. Her first collection, Counting Rain, was published by Indigo Dreams in 2012. She has designed several poetry collection book covers and is co-editor of Against the Grain Poetry Press.