by Marc Frazier



What we spoke of at those times—
ordinary things like the weather,

the inner life of Midwesterners rarely spoken of.
Self-reflection a luxury of the lazy.

We sat outside so much growing up—
on the front porch, in the yard,

often before, during, or after a storm.


I remember mostly times with mother
who was usually in motion—a cracked artifact patched—

visibly stronger and more beautiful.
My sibs and I competed for her favor.

In our house there was always a storm before calm.
There is a great silence where she once sat,

so loud it is deafening.


A family fractures and no one can tell by looking at its parts.
We are the cracked trees of our youths’ ice storm

scattered throughout a broken world.
Where is the peace we were promised?

Why do I think that promise had been made—





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