Blake Landry “8th birthday” “Return to Sender”

8th birthday

by Blake Landry

I sit watching Grandma thread the needle.

The light has gone down for the evening

and my heart beats in time, slow dancing with

the rhythm of the temperate night, the familiar swish

of big rigs making their run at the pass.

And I am king, while Grandma stitches

together the seams of my evening. An evening

where children are pitted in a clash of cops

and robbers. A night where fences were jumped,

pacts were made and children were rescued from jail.

Stopping only to blow out the candles and partake in the

birthday cake.

Now steam fills the room as Grandma runs the bath.

Facts of the evening meld into my dreamscape

as Mother enters, her voice cutting through

the palatable joy and the down splash of my tub.

“How was your evening honey?” Smiling her knowing smile.

Grandma tugs through the last stitch. My heart/my mind

now melting into the waters of contentment. I smile,

content to live in this moment. “It was a good night.”

Return to Sender

You once wrote me a letter. Telling me it would be ok. You said I would wake up the next day and I would feel better. That the clouds would clear and that weight on my chest would fill that pit in my stomach. It hasn’t stopped raining for months now and that friend I told you about still forgets to eat her food when she’s supposed to, and when I walk outside I still find it hard to breathe.

I once wrote you a letter. Telling you that the address changed. You see she decided to live elsewhere and he forgot to say I love you. And somehow during all this I forgot what those words meant. Now instead of weight, I have a hole in my chest and everyday I try and fill it with your promises.

You once wrote me a letter. You said it would be ok.

About The Author

Blake Landry is an English major at Sierra College with a concentration in literature. Growing up he has always had a passion for sports, specifically football and rugby. When he began attending Sierra, he found that he had a love for writing poetry that combines childhood memories and honest struggles.

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