Poems by Christina Lilian Turczyn: “I Could Have Told You”

 

Copyright Christina L. Turczyn 2016

I Could Have Told You

I could have told you that it should

not be this hard, that everything our parents

warned us about did not stretch

from the continent of one dream to the next.

Perhaps we should not have put so much

aside, the fear of loss so great

that we shored up moments

as though they were stones.

Perhaps we should have lingered

just a little longer at the place

where birches, suffused with watery

green light, settled quietly into dusk

at the river’s edge.

The stories we heard, of relatives beaten

into the dark wine of silence,

of icons left in places

where no one would

ever pray to them again,

were enough to make us think

that time remained only for those

who did not know how to count.

Still, we lingered,

played bad records on our porches,

made trips to the Catskills,

stood unafraid while wind

blew in our faces, and caravans

of planets moved behind our backs.

We had to stop thinking, we had to live,

just live, feel the way that thin leaves do

as they lean into this thick rain of stars.

–Received first prize in the Vanguard Voices of the Hudson Valley, Mohonk Mountain Stage Company, 2005

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