"I Miss the Blackboard and the Awkwardness of Chalk, Even Though" by Ronda Piszk Broatch
I Miss the Blackboard and the Awkwardness of Chalk, Even Though
I got the question wrong. How many stamens does it take to fill a jar of
saffron, color my anxiety? That the spatula burned my lip to a sizzle
and the pocket watch remains a dream unfulfilled is of little consequence.
Crows work the graveyard shift, practice dives with precision of black
angels till we take cover in a patch of violets. Today, we took our puppet
to a motel. Today, we played the same board game thirty times
until I began to believe my father could really love his separate self.
If I had known my mother’s anger might have been a cover for love
I’d have bought a different album, sung something other than country.
I’m convinced reality gnaws, and slowly and that time disguises
itself as mischief, as sea glass. I am in-and-out tide, am pilgrim, canvas
of rough water. When I was child I postponed confession until my body
broke. Sometimes wine. Sometimes there is a stage in front of me
and I am the one looking for the tightest cluster of life to dive into.
Ronda Piszk Broatch
Poet and photographer Ronda Piszk Broatch is the author of Lake of Fallen Constellations, (MoonPath Press, 2015). Seven-time Pushcart Prize nominee, Ronda is the recipient of an Artist Trust GAP Grant, is a May Swenson Poetry Award finalist, and is the former editor of Crab Creek Review. Her journal publications include Sycamore Review, Prairie Schooner, Mid-American Review, Public Radio KUOW’s All Things Considered, and work is forthcoming in Blackbird.
Headshot: Ronda Piszk Broatch
Photo Credit: Staff