To Give or Not A Love Poem   Leave a comment

She tries to lift the paper from her purse

without movement, without noise. But the crinkles

loud as ice calving cracks the room’s silence.

Beneath her feet, across her chest, she feels the earth shift.

She pulls out crumpled pages, hears them exhale

under his smoothing palms as if resuscitated.


He presses her papers with care, and thus resuscitates

her own breath and the still beating pulse of her purse.

She watches all the papers flatten and exhale

under his palms, until not one more sound of crinkle.

The weather of her blood quiets, shifts

from cracking ice and settling earth to silence.


Then he holds her words, and there is nothing so silent.

She squeezes her red leather purse until its resuscitated

gasp snaps the clasp spilling onto her brown shift

dress printed with yellow butterflies. Their wings purse

like velvet lips too ready, too soft to ever crinkle

His eyes lift from the page to look at her. She exhales.


He drops his eyes back to the page. She inhales.

As she waits, waves somewhere rock a man in silence.

Somewhere a classroom of tiny ones rhyme wrinkle with crinkle,

and a single dollar given brings back a man. Resuscitated

with change in his pocket, and hope in his purse,

beneath his feet, across his chest, he feels the earth shift.


Soon, she must go, time for her night shift.

From the window she watches smokestacks exhale,

remembers her grandmother calling her a prize, a purse,

a purple purse so loud it needed soft pink flowers to silence

its ice cracking exuberance, to resuscitate

those around who could not take her constant paper crinkles


and the shock of purple purse girl with abounding crinkliness.

Again her eyes to his. She stretches a leg, sifts a sigh, shifts

her fears of dumb love poem. She thinks how to  resuscitate

herself if gift is rejected,  if he does not exhale

against her neck, but wads her words in silence

and stuffs them into the mouth of her purse.


His black eyebrows shift like two ravens. He exhales.

The raven eyebrows unfold their pursed wings, uncrinkling.

She resuscitates, and leans into his tears and kisses in silence.



Mary Strong Jackson


Posted March 28, 2014 by strongjacksonpoet54 in Uncategorized

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