After April Rain

by Elizabeth Oxley

When the dogwood in our yard drips dry,

pink blooms erupt like wounds. Knowing me, 

my brother once said, be sure to live outside

of sadness. I craved storms the way some were 

addicted to drugs or horses, I adored

the word flank for its military muscle.

On my left sits gloom, on my right 

the memory of a Buddhist monk.

He was passing through town. I made 

an appointment. About my daughter, 

he said, she will do what you do. After that, 

I sought silver linings without edges

sharpened, drank chamomile tea, 

kept a journal until I turned coward. 

Finding my daughter in the bathroom, 

I calculate our odds and press a cloth

to her arm. She drops the blade in a corner

crammed with dirty laundry. I couldn't speak

until now. No longer captive to her grief, 

my daughter points to full moons and horses 

clustered in a mountain field, hooves 

carving columbine. She climbs the fence, 

feet covering ground, planted on rock. 

I think girl and hear thunder.

© 2020 by Elizabeth Oxley and ElizabethOxley.com