Accents Publishing Blog
53 & Sligo
article by
Aaron Reding
LexPoMo 2016 Poems submitted during the Lexington Poetry Month 2016 Writing Challenge

If my words could shake time,
oceans of mistakes bearing ill tidings until morning breaks,
perhaps things would be different.
I’ve watched the static of silence scrawl itself across your skin,
a life in flames watching a torrent of wandering days lose themselves
in the cataclysmic arms of eternity.
(Seven years old, searching for miracles in plastic eggs.
Each minute a new discovery etches itself out in smiles and
dyes the day in hues of laughter.)
Flash forward; a young man now, Ben stands by his grandfather’s coffin,
eight days away from lying in one of his own.
Tears sear tracks in a face of cracking stone, hesitating for but a moment
on trembling lips.
He will go from being a pallbearer to being buried in just over a week.
The songs held within his chest weave spiderweb fissures
into the fabric of perfection.
You’re not old enough to sleep yet.
There were white horses under the hood of that truck-
three tons of shattered tomorrows ensure
you don’t come back from things like this.
The harp of your voice has no place in a call to dispatch, kid.
I know, I’ve read your story enough times to understand
your brightest desire was to leave behind the love
you held within every breath.
There ain’t a prize inside that box.
Hours spent peeling away a tin lid
looking for an answer we already know.
The last picture of you tattooed on my retinas:
tear-stained, cigarette eternally planted between your lips
and burning.
Somewhere, I hope you’re still dancing.

One response to “53 & Sligo”

  1. Mary Owens says:

    Very powerful poem. The shift from miracles found in plastic eggs, to the image of coffins ,is shocking. Great job.

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