My mother wraps herself in her scarf and sleeps until noon.
The first time winter comes we all try our hardest
to be Scholar and Sorcerer and the ceiling ends up leaking
And there’s no one who can answer the question
‘How have you been?’
In more than 3 words.
None of the mugs match.
The silverware is beyond sorting.
In the darkness my fingers grow sore reordering the names of missing
Queens and Knaves.
My aunt doesn’t let her shadow exceed her standing height.
In the bedrooms out of sight above I bury a hunchback’s heart in stacks of old magazines and velvet curtains.
My father and I used to play soldiers in the snow
Storming high towers and leaping across frozen moats
As neighbors looked through the woods fearing horrors without names.
A pearl cannonball loses itself arcing through the noon sun
And is careful not to stir any sleepers in its wake.
In late afternoon my mother boils water on the stove and playing dead is more difficult
And more familiar and the icicles are never quite at ease.
There is never cream in the refrigerator
Or a full suit of spades.