86. To the Stars Through Difficulty: Lori Baker Martin

We are sleeping when the old barn finally falls, its timbers cracking
like rifle shots. We run out to see it lying there, gray and scarred, the roof holey.
We shine flashlights at its bulk. That broken ladder jutting through the roof,
I climbed it when I was ten, leaped from the loft into the hay, broke my foot.
Somewhere in that pile is my mother’s opal ring and the bones
of the rabbit my brother killed with a stone.
You kissed me, over there, where the stall used to be.
Fallen, too, are the clinging trumpet vines, as thick as your thumb, and green-leaved,
blooming orange. They rustle, and out of the ruins, the whistling of doves’ wings.
Can they fly in the dark? you ask me. In flashed light they burst skyward, and I say, yes, yes.

— Lori Baker Martin


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