person Heather Minette, three poems

Heather Minette is the author of Rooftops and Other Poems (Blue Hour Press, 2013). She earned her M.A. in Literature from the University of Houston – Clear Lake and is currently studying for a Graduate Certificate in Legal Studies at Rice University. Her work has been featured on Freshly Pressed, nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and was recently included in Texas’s Best Emerging Poets by Z Publishing House. More of her work is available to view at https://heatherminette.com/

~

SMALL HAND

You do not have blonde curls or pink lips
or brown eyes that turn green
when you cry,
or sailor dresses or saddle shoes
or nursery room walls
covered in daffodils.

But you have a small hand
that grips mine
as I look to the ground
and tread gently
past the infant graves
of Parker Cemetery.

~

IN THIS ROOM

He doesn’t have to stay here—
between the muted green walls
above the buckled floors,
below the splintered beams,
sleeping against
the single window
set so low
it only allows the light
of late afternoon.
He doesn’t have to stay here—
in this room
where he watched his brother die,
but he does.

~

YELLOW FLOWERS

He wasn’t sure what I was doing there,
red city lips and polished nails,
smoking his hand-rolled cigarettes,
tapping my foot to the sounds of Patsy Cline
that escaped a cracked bedroom door,

examining the faded photographs on his living room walls
and asking him questions about his life
between sips of stale wine—
Do you wake at sunrise?
How did you get that scar?
What were you afraid of when you were a child?

I wasn’t sure what I was doing there either.
I only knew that I crossed that dirt road
and stopped with a newfound sense of courage,
landing on his doorstep
in search of something novel—
a word, an idea, a story.

And I found it that morning he guided me up the hill,
his body at a steady distance,
so I could measure the layers of trees and sky,
and he stopped just before the top to pull from the ground
a handful of yellow flowers.

“These here are bitter weeds,” he told me,
“They can be dangerous.”

“How could something so delicate be harmful?”
I asked touching the petals,
taking note of the way my own hand looked next to his.

It was the first of my questions that he wouldn’t answer.
Instead, he smiled a cheekbone smile—
a structure of knowingness.

“It’s an interesting phenomenon,
how something can appear so pure and harmless,
yet have such potential to harm,”
I later wrote,

not yet knowing if my new words
were about the flowers, or myself, or the man.

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