Buried Poem Triptych 2

III. Vicarious Escapee

The kite string snapped
and for a few moments
it flew free—the boy
allowed his heart to jump
for just that handful
of seconds, to see that piece
of himself soaring—
escaping. But when it soon
lost its updraft, slipped
and flickered out of sight
somewhere beyond the wall
he returned to the rubble
of his playground, his home.

II. How Long To Fly

I will always have the kite, held by a string of memory
to a boy I thought I had snapped the rotten off of.
And the kite, I thought I had cut it loose –
for a second it seemed like it could fly on its own,
a second became a few moments,
and I turned from it, I flew free
I let the boy go, I allowed myself
to become weightless.

Then his heart crashed into me;
the kite had missed its chance to jump
the limitless sky, had come back to earth
laden with Boy, just taking me with it.
A handful of gravity, a taste of seconds.
And then to see the ground again, to feel that piece
Boy lodge himself into my organs of flight
when I could have been soaring...

I fear that my grasp on the kite
will always be “escaping.”
I try to resist but when I tell the kite “escaped,”
it only whispers, “soon.”
Never “now.” Never “yes.”
The boy is lost, except for what is left of him in me.
The kite will never find its updraft.
The string holding it will never have fully slipped.
And, worst, I fear my desire to cut it has flickered,
as the sky retreats away out of sight.

Somewhere else must be beyond the wall
between flight and gravity. The boy must know.
He has returned to a place I can’t follow.
Never enough to hold him, the kite
and I mired in the rubble.
It was ever his playground, his cosmology.
But the tug of a kite worrying the splinter in my back,
that feels like home. I tell myself it’s enough.
What else can I do? Tell me, what.

III.           To Fly

                       the kite,

      the kite,            I      cut it loose –
                  it                 it

                       it    flew free –
I                     I
     become weightless.

the kite      missed
      the limitless sky, had come back to earth
                                         me with it.
A                     gravity            of seconds.

                                         my organ of flight

                                    the kite
I             resist                      the kite “escaped,”

The boy is lost,
The kite
                            will         have fully slipped

    the sky

Somewhere else
between flight and gravity
                              a place I can’t follow.
                                            the kite
and I mired in the        .
                    of a kite
that feels like home.   tell m  e
What     can I do     Tell me

Buried Poem Triptych 3

I. Crow Friends 

I haven’t made a crow friend yet
but I’m trying. They say corvids
will bring those that feed them
treasures, tiny shiny thank yous.
I spy each dash of trash on my stoop
like it were stashed under a spangled
douglas fir in my living room.
But if anyone asks, I’m doing well.

II. Palms out

What I have decided about you
is that you are hoping
that I haven’t made up my mind
if you are a true crow, a friend
of our family yet.
I have decided. I say,
what a dream to put faith in.
What a waste of a dream.

But,” you will say,
raising a quavering note
in your voice like cracked scales.
I step away. I’m not interested.
You by your trying is suspect enough.
We have had endless and faithless
of what they of your kind say.

We hold our own ways pricelessly close.
Corvids will bring our dead and our children
to those lands that feed them,
spacious and radiant, suns for us.

You strew treasures, tiny shiny
worthless measures. You expect ‘thank yous?
“But.” You drop the word before me.
I will not even spend time considering
its worthlessness. You spill
tears like coins. You tell me anything.
Now I say “but.” You may be a spy.
You throw each dash of words
like they are of worth. On my stoop?

Here, I live like it was up to me,
one of the few, the expenses
of my kind stashed under the broken
promises of a spangled douglas coin.
We carry our children and our dead,
we mark our ways by maple and fir.

In my eyes you are the one not
up to the task of incredible living.
Give room. For once in your life. Give room.
I return your watery words, “but.”
If anyone else is coming, tell them
to take their shadows off again.
Each one of you asks the same kind
of blank spaces, faintly traceless.
I’m doing for my own kind.
A fir for myself. Mark me well. 

III. [Shiny, Worthless Treasures]

          you are hoping

I have decided
                      to put faith in.
         a waste of a dream.


         a quavering note
                   like cracked scales

                           is suspect enough.

                     you        say.


We hold              pricelessly close
                    our dead and our children

spacious and radiant           for us.


You       treasure         shiny
worthless                            thank you’s

                   spend time considering
                       You tell me
              I                  may be a spy

                      of worth

               I      like it
                           the expenses
                                          the broken
promises of
                our children and our dead,
we mark our ways by maple and fir.


In my eyes you are not
                         your life

        you ask
   blank spaces,
A                   self.

Note from the writers: In our Buried Poem Triptych collaboration, the first poet writes a very short poem-section, from that the other poet writes a 'buried poem' section (think the opposite of an erasure, the original words are kept in order with many more added in so ostensibly an erasure might be made of the second section to reveal the original poem), and then the first poet makes a 'white out' erasure section of the second, expanded section.

ZEBULON HUSET is a teacher, writer and photographer. He won the Gulf Stream 2020 Summer Poetry Contest and his writing has appeared in Best New PoetsMaine ReviewMeridianRattleNorth American ReviewThe Southern ReviewFence, and Atlanta Review among others. He publishes Notebooking Daily, and edits the literary journal Coastal ShelfKATE STRONG STADT is a former children’s librarian turned knowledge worker. Recently, her poems have been published in Iron Horse Review and The Collidescope. Her latest obsession is blacksmithing.