®

Today's poem is by Gwen Hart

Picking Up the Shards


The first sign was whining from the hall,
the dog begging to come and hide with me.
He always knew how bad the fight would be;
he felt it in my parents' rising vowels.

We curled together on the bed, small
connoisseurs of sound. We couldn't see
the drinking glass, the picture frame free-
falling to the floor or hurled against the wall,

but registered each crash and bang. Long after
our eyes had grown accustomed to the dark,
the splintered shouts melted to laughter
and slowed the twin confusions of our hearts.

I imagined, then, my parents' lips grown softer
as they stooped together, picking up the shards.



Copyright © 2003 Gwen Hart All rights reserved
from The Formalist
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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