20 December, 2009


He was tall on Sundays,
his white shirt crisp,
his hazel eyes shaded
by the patio awning.

Heat from the grill
gave his stillness movement,
making him a reflection on water cut

by the ripple of a gentle current.

I imagine him steeped
in the smell of molten metal
and his own blood,

his youth left dead
under the hooves of a spirited horse.

The Sicilian field must have undulated
like an ocean wave, lured its prey,
snapped like a rug being shook clean
of dust and crumbs.

Maybe his brother
fell hard, with organs
bursting like flowers
blooming in a time-

lapsed film. Colors exploding
from leaves clasped
in prayer.

I picture his brother a leaf floating
in slow motion, back and forth on the gentle

breeze and resting
with blades of grass
tapping his face gently to see if he’d wake.

In that moment a mother lost two sons

when he was swallowed
by the ship, leaves of metal
clasped in prayer, cutting waves

that pushed against him, waves
that spoke in tongues
camouflaging him.

He had always been cut
by the ripple,
even before those Sundays,

cut in half
two brothers in one.

~ ~ Cristina Trapani-Scott

First published in Public Republic (January, 2009).