When my neighbor’s tree crashes through the roof, allowing storm water to flood our kitchen, his insurance company has to pay nothing. Though the tree’s roots tunnel through his soil and the snapped trunk stands on his grass, the part that broke had leaned across the property line. I’m a therapist—I understand where we end up matters more than where we start. A friend of mine married her one-night stand. Another wed her “soul mate,” lawyers got the house in the divorce. Today on my couch a woman, incest survivor, squelched wife, tells me she feels in her body strength to leave. Her thin arms lift as she speaks, fingers reaching toward the light.
from Dazzle (Jacar Press, 2017)
This is our new dance, my mother calls out, suddenly unable to walk, as my father half drags, half carries her down the hall. Once she dressed for dancing in big earrings, clingy gowns. I watched her twist her thick hair, then paint her suddenly mysterious face. My father watched the clock. Fumbling with buttons, she tried to sooth him, Soon, I promise. Soon. He grumped out to wait in the car. I helped her raise her zipper, clasp a strand of pearls. Her hands shook when he honked the horn. Days of couch to bathroom, chair to bed, the living room and back. Despite bursitis he maneuvers her, my mother wrapped in a bathrobe, scarves and wig discarded, apologizing, This is too much for you. Step, pause, shuffle, shift of weight, step, step, turn, my father watching her, his movements slow and tender as though they had all the time in the world.
from Dangerous Enough (Presa Press, 2014)
Every life needs edges. I protect you from the meadow’s wanton splendor, passion running amok. Lean against my law the way a child lets go into a father’s arms. Pruned and tethered vines bear stronger fruit. Defy me if the sobbing of jailed innocents grows louder than rain. Kill me when the names for animals and sky replace the animals and sky.
from Ordinary Magic (NYQ Books, 2016)
©2022 Alison Stone
All rights reserved
…has published seven full-length collections, Zombies at the Disco (Jacar Press, 2020), Caught in the Myth (NYQ Books, 2019), Dazzle (Jacar Press, 2017), Masterplan, collaborative poems with Eric Greinke (Presa Press, 2018), Ordinary Magic, (NYQ Books, 2016), Dangerous Enough (Presa Press 2014), and They Sing at Midnight, which won the 2003 Many Mountains Moving Poetry Award; as well as three chapbooks. She has been awarded Poetry’s Frederick Bock Prize and New York Quarterly’s Madeline Sadin Award.
One thought on “The Spirit of Change | Alison Stone”
Alsion, your poetry is powerful and filled with everything I love about poetry and try, yet fail to emulate. Welcome back to the BeZine.
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