Inventory – Stacie M. Kiner

The surface of things
              can barely hold…what is under them.
                                      -Eavan Boland

As a child,
I parked my broken bike
in the garage,
believing it would be
fixed over night.

Wasn’t this the way
you died,
believing you
would be fixed
in the morning?

Your ashes sit
in a small cardboard box
in our air-conditioning closet.

I buried some of you
with sunflowers
in my garden,
some I carry
in my backpack.

Now that your home is rain,
I don’t know where
you live.
I don’t know
if the scales on which
lives are weighed
would show you happy

but there you were,
sitting in the sun,
your aide’s phone
in your shirt pocket
playing Sinatra.

Now that your envelope
of silence
will never be opened,
what did it take
to not become

What do I do now
with daffodils,
their thick, milky stems
cut from our garden
wrapped in damp paper towel and foil
for my favourite teachers?

I came to see you
stored like luggage
after a long trip,
your third home
in one year

sitting in a row
of wheelchairs aligned like planets
revolving around a television set,
wearing someone else’s shoes.

After you died
and we became closer,
I wondered;
is catastrophe
simply a place
water finds
its way through?

Is this what we are –
a cracked slate roof
in a home with buckets
filling with rain?

With nothing left
but surrender,
how far
do we have to fly
we touch ground?

Stacie KinerStacie M. Kiner is a former fellow at the Vermont Studio Center and Hannah Kahn Memorial Award recipient. Her poems have appeared in The Charlotte Poetry Review, Madison Review, Comstock Review, Meridian Anthology of Contemporary Poetry, Apalachee Quarterly, The Ekphrastic Review, Lavender Review and SWWIM, as well as other journals and publications. Stacie is the former moderator of a poetry talk show in Miami, and currently an Associate Editor of the South Florida Poetry Journal.

  Photo by Blaise Allen.