|Eric Paul Shaffer||More Firewood: After Doc Dachtler
(for Steve Sanfield)
Light, the first five paces,
armloads of oak
slowed steps like new ideas.
Bark bit arms, limbs lined
limbs, reddened skin.
Fresh fire lit,
two warmed twice
by the same wood.
At last, under stars,
knots, only light.
|My Grandmother's Dance
It's hard to dance with one foot
in the grave, but dance
you did. You danced as if practice
were perfection, and perfection
were the only act. You were fat.
You wore black. But you smiled
and the grace
your limbs stitched in shadow
before a doorway limned with light
was all I knew. Your dance
was steps unknown to all but you,
yet you danced. The day you danced
was only days before the day
you died. The light of the hall
was gray and thin from the open door.
Your hair was gray and thin,
and you were the only one
on that red-brick, steel-skyed street
to ever express joy. I wanted it,
and I still want it. I want more.