Stealing – Michele Randall

From a tangled vine, disconnecting
each sweet-scent blossom, we take
flower from stem so nectar beads
clear, and we drink. You know,
my sister says, gazing at the vines’
near-empty, we’re stealing from birds.
Actually, butterflies, and hand her
a drop. That’s worse! She drinks. Is it?
              We lie in a bed of honeysuckle spent,
              heat and scent take the rest of the day.
A memory breaks in a cold room where I await
the allotted visiting time.
                                               The butterflies come
to mind, that they had to search on for their meal,
and you will not remember the moment at all,
or maybe me, and I wonder
                                               if this memory erupts
to remind me of sweetness, of full-on empty summer
days spent kicking around under the backyard shady
pine of our childhood
                                        home to illuminate a new
truth—we deserve this moment, too—this clearing.

Michele Parker Randall is the author of Museum of Everyday Life (Kelsay Books 2015) and A Future Unmappable, chapbook (Finishing Line Press 2021). Her poetry can be found in Nimrod International Journal, Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Tar River Poetry, and elsewhere.