Lydia Renfro holds a BA in Literature and Creative Writing from Colorado State University and an MFA in Creative Writing from Adelphi University. Her poetry has appeared in The Merrimack Review and A: Literary Journal. She currently lives in Colorado and is completing her first novel manuscript.
Crumbs of Body
a psalm of siblinghood
I break bread with my brothers
We sit round table and tell long
stories of near times.
Fields of bluebonnet, indian paintbrush,
hide and seek down by the creek.
Bits of us, scattered in fragrant places.
Thunder growling, listen to that hush-
two-thousand lightning bugs ago.
I break bread
and pause [selah]
Smile at my plate.
Phoebes singing, crickets crying.
Pass the butter. Mind the salt.
Do you remember our climbing tree?
Fill my glass. Pass the peas.
Did you forget the death of our siblings?
Mama’s womb lost three, three, three.
Let’s break bread like Jesus,
and weep over broken things
a little while, honeys.
Count up the griefs,
Wash them carefully [selah]
There now. Enough.
I would like no more now, thank you.
Just a cup of coffee in an earthen mug;
Leave the crumbs on my plate, shall I?
What do you mean, getting married?
I thought we were spying on snapping turtles
by the wild creek, etching youth with
bark on palms, in lookout trees above meadows.
Weren’t we just cracking sunflower seeds, and you
with your slingshot in a back pocket?
Oh, but look—I missed it.
Those days are closed up, morning glories at noon.
You, childhood fellow, have a beard now
and I’ve misplaced the cup for catching crawdads.
So yes, now it must be time to get married.
Go on, stand with your Floret before the priest
attended by Stewart ghosts who walked these
ocean-miles long to bless their clansman,
with vows on your tongue and, secretly,
the muffled flavor of honeysuckles.
Listen! A cedar waxwing, still here, reticent to leave.