our souls’ day

Back to Issue 12

this autumn wind bends dogwoods
half-way over;
their leaves red sparks,
wildfires waiting

even so children run bent
the other way—
huff-puffing steam and
echoing the howl above them,
feeling only the glory of the going

i did not plant but plucked the day i came, i came
borne up by the waving wheat that dies before i do
until the year it won’t


the heat kicks on at midnight
we keep the gift wrap in the closet
with the filter so we hear it crinkle every night
about the time we go to bed

somewhere on the hardwood floor
if we get down flat
we can hear the house’s guts rumbling down below

lift your eyes a little and you will see the skin-tone stain
of our first-born spit-up somewhere just shy of the kitchen floor,
which we never did clean up

he’s older now, toddler-breath
hissing in his sleep, a half-inflated ball

he’ll know this place one day
until the day he won’t

By j. d. hart

j. d. hart is a middle school Latin teacher from Lynchburg, Virginia, where he lives with his wife, a toddler, an infant, and the stump of a rotted flowering poplar. His poetry has appeared previously in LAMP Magazine.