Things I Tell My Children
Always carry a dark stone, a mute bluebird, a sharp arrow, homing devices nobody questions. Trust animals — human directions are deceitful, their bones lie (love them anyway). Share your poems whenever possible, only sacrifice survives, map the consequences with metaphor; the poem is always truth. A dewdrop cannot be saved, let it dry so the stars have a trail to follow, feed the deer fermented apples, they may stumble, steady; the skies’ reflection in their eyes is a prayer — say it. Look a loved one dead in the face, blame your defiance on your mother, her damp hands feeding earth soft men, when briars grab your legs as you run, bloody scratches become new words (the stinging eventually subsides): write them. Listen to the fish dreaming at lake’s bottom, swallow the weight of the stone in your pocket, be silent, the birch branches all sway in the right direction, look up. Be grateful — your arrow points to verses the startled bluebird sings once you give her voice.
Lisa Caloro teaches at a small community college in the Catskills and bartends on weeknights to diversify her audience and gather more material. Her poems have appeared in Evening Street Review, Jelly Bucket, and Santa Ana River Review among other publications.