I dream of blue stars, even supernovas, to avoid the black holes, spiraling closer, sucking away my breath. Implosion temporarily avoided, walking alone, sun falling, my father is dead.
Past the workshop he built, concrete blocks laid, tresses hauled by old-man hands, tipping him off the ladder one day. Ground zero. The first time an accident, but not the last he endured.
Past the small island of trees he trimmed, filled now with pink blossoms, berries, and red wasps that sometimes sting, dull green leaves shuddering against beach winds, whispering his name.
Past white pea gravel driveway, crunching underfoot, where we started our long walks that grew less often with his faltering steps; now, to never again hear the crunch beneath him. I am alone.
Past the houses, all so different, cottage, shack, mansion, revealing eras and incomes divergent; grey clapboard, pink stucco, blue siding, white fences, no fences, a weathered bunny crossing sign.
Over the cracked asphalt, weathered by sand, wind, and time, once a tropical storm bearing his name passed by. Brief whiff of something salty and decaying, a seagull overhead shrieking out mournful cries.
Over the patches of sand, past sea oats dancing tan and green stalks, fluffy tops spewing seeds anew, and I recall how he loved the idea of Johnathan Livingston Seagull, flying free above all.
Over the new sidewalk main street sported, shiny spots dot the pavers like a sequined girl at a dance, trying too hard to be admired; the streetlights respond to darkening skies, first glimmer on.
To the pier once leading to the drawbridge, the clanking sound it made when rising, letting boats pass underneath, sails billowing southward, watching our watches, waiting for bridge to lower, to be on our way.
To pass an old fisherman, floppy hat, line, tackle, bucket, and a string of silver fish, dangling dinner. He nodded, language of strangers passing, smelling of tobacco, sweat, and coconut oil, mixing with fish.
To lean my hip against the new metal railing, avoiding the Pollock spots of bird droppings, even if my life seemed to go to shit. And I took a deep whiff of inlet, salt and diesel, a smell Dad no longer will have.
To watch the setting sun sink behind the horizon, leaving black silhouettes of trees. I’m paralyzed, not moving until my limbs grow numb, waiting for the starry night to fall like black silk and velvet.
I dream of blue stars, even supernovas, to avoid the black holes, spiraling closer, sucking away my breath. Implosion temporarily avoided, standing alone, moon rising, my father is dead.
Connie Marie St. Clair is an avid writer and reader of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction and has publications in anthologies Footprints: Memories That Last a Lifetime, Journey’s End: Anthology of Poetry and Short Stories, and Best of Friends. Recently, her spoken word poetry readings include “Too Many Things Wrong”, “The Forgotten Girl”, “Soldier Girl”, “Soldier Girl in Love”, and “Consequence is a White Camaro”. She is a United States Air Force veteran, working on a cross-genre collection focusing on her experiences. Finally, she is an assistant professor at Flagler College in St. Augustine, FL, and has won numerous awards for scholarship and teaching.