Poem of the Week: madeleine

she’s green and red together
like the paintings I stare at in museums
she’s an apple tree
in an orchard in may
she’s far away now
miles holding us


I don’t reach out anymore
I stopped stretching my fingers
over telephone wires
and there’s never much time
to watch the sun set like we used to
I’m always looking
to the east


she sends letter sometimes
emerald-ribbon wrapped messages
in loops of dark graphite
spelling out complicated ways
of saying I miss you
I miss her too
but I don’t write back


I see her most often
in the daydreams
that join me just before my alarm
she always grins
the same way she did
when we were children
only now she wears the age sixteen
instead of grass-stained six


she kissed me goodbye
on the cheek
the last time we really spoke
it was the sort of farewell
that feels too final for words
I hardly remember anything about it
except for her eyes, and her lips
green and red



– Grace Borden