The Tower Journal

Jessica Purdy

Grackles in March

Their black staccato
punctuates tree limbs.
They squeak like the swing
of rusted chains.
My daughter’s yellow
bus chugging uphill,
startles them up
in simultaneous tumult.
Like a school of moonfish
borne by a moon-pulled wave,
they vanish into the potential
of a white March sky.
After the bus brakes
her moony face emerges
blinking against vestiges of wing-beat.

Thoughts on Being Through with Having Any More Children

At eight you ask me: do you ever feel small?
April, like chasing receipts across a windy parking lot,
the body made up of joints, puppet-like
face points down on its neck-stalk
jaw slack tightens to tension
shoulder creases like an envelope flap
the ankles L into leg and knee caps
shift like plate tectonics,
bend to the dirt to praise
each elbow of crocus
wrist and knuckle
emerge from corm
of hip,

Night in my Parent’s Room

When I visit
you take Grandma’s old room
and give up yours.
I’m sleeping,
trying to sleep.
Air like soup
waves through,
mimics the ocean at the end of the road,
shuffles oak leaves,
bothers my hairline.
Damp sheets, a sponge
to squeeze sleep from.
I think of your dust under the bed.
Your paintings glow‒
then birdsong,
always birds‒
while I slept, the fledglings must have flown
the bird house you nailed by the kitchen door.
By daybreak I did not hear them again.
You took the wind chimes down
thinking of me.
I heard you close the door
softly so I would not wake.
I didn’t know I could miss you
under your roof.

Copyright © 2014 Jessica Purdy

Jessica Purdy teaches Creative Writing online through Southern New Hampshire University. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Emerson College. This year she was nominated for Best New Poets. Poems are forthcoming in The Cafe Review and Off the Coast. She has poems in The Foundling Review and Flycatcher 3. Previously, her poems have appeared in Literary Mama, Halfway Down the Stairs, 'What is Home', (the 2007 Portsmouth Poet Laureate program’s publication), Analecta, and The Beacon Street Review. Her chapbook, “Learning the Names," will be published this year by Finishing Line Press.

The Tower Journal
Fall/Winter 2014