Below the tree
        where he would take arrows from his chest
your father smiled with snap-dragons, lit fuses, thought

of you. What he thought: this is your favorite firework, it causes laughing I know,
as a collection of stars carried him across the gravel.

High up in the water tower
            where she was breaking tea-cups
your mother saw your name written in the sound of

a broken tea-cup. What she thought: This must be where I find
my child. Clouds, suitcases passed by with wintergreen lozenges.

Near the seventh cavern
            where he wrestled once with bubbly air
your brother opened a tin-can, found glow-sticks inside. He broke

the liquid into essence, thought: when you get to this earth I will meet you
and we’ll find some bikes.


Lauren Haldeman's first poetry collection, Calenday, is forthcoming from Rescue Press in Fall 2014. Also: she’s a mom and makes paintings.