Gravity II

Sometimes you slip when the trail up to Devil’s Causeway is muddy,
                you slip and fall all they way back to the trailhead,
to your red Subaru parked in the shade of a willow. Sometimes you tumble
                 past your car all the way back to the main highway. You hear
blue jays recite your name backwards in the juniper, but you keep
                 rumbling with gravity. You roll back into town, and spin recklessly
around a curve, tumbling down Main. You pass Jimmy Duggan just home
                 from Vietnam, and your mother clothes-pinning sheets in the sun.
You tumble past your brothers playing baseball behind the Point Brewery
                 and your sister whispering secrets in front of Woolworths, the scent
of greasy burgers wafting from the open door. You reach out to grab old
                 friends, but their fingers come off in your tenacious grip, and now
you are somersaulting down Iverson Hill. The momentum reaches a crescendo.
                 You are a musical note piercing the sound barrier. Gravity has you
in the thick of its fingers. Dawn sheds graffiti on your battered limbs
                as you somersault over the Wisconsin River Bridge and come
to a halt Sunday morning on the freshly poured sidewalk of St. Stephen’s Church.
                Father McGinley blesses you with holy water. Sister Veronica
washes your wounds. You leave an imprint of your face in concrete.

First published in Margie (Finalist: Best Poem Contest)