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