portion of the artwork for Amy J. Sprague's poetry
It’s in the Little Pieces
Amy J. Sprague

I catch you in reflections—the small ones
that hint at a sense, be it smell or taste or touch

the smell of your sweat, bent over the tractor
the taste of Old Style on my small lips, just a sip
the feel of your long arms twice around me

a hint of pink in a blossom falling
to the grass—your cheeks, alive

a light refracting on water, just a ripple,
your eyes, blue, calling to me from somewhere I’ve
vaguely dreamed about, a sanctuary of sorts
where I was once somebody’s

then a reflection of myself, this body
I am your limbs, your high cheekbones

when it’s quiet
I see all the pieces of you
I hear you as a hush behind me—
a piece of home I’d forgotten somewhere—

I hear the wind from when we spread
your ashes on the river, followed by pink
petals that we plucked

I think of you
as mine, once briefly
and I was yours and that
makes my chest ache
in some way it’s never known—
deep and young;

all the what if’s
what if you had stayed
what if you had known the world
you couldn’t keep us in
wasn’t any worse than the new one
you’d turn us over to
that yours was so much safer

you tried to get us back,
you cried in front of our new
father, I heard you daddy I heard you
from the kitchen, the soft sobs,
the shaking voice pleading
drunk with a slurred tongue
and this
would always be enough for us—
because it was the best we’d ever get

you walked away
you lived in your car, the last we’d heard

I didn’t understand myself then—I
didn’t know I was locking that piece
of you inside
for one clear moment,
I was wanted.

You tried to put us into pieces
you could hold onto—
faded photos of us
in your wallet

gentle, shy, scared father
I loved you
I loved you
you’re in all these little pieces
around me and inside,
never so far now
as you rustle and hush
through petals at my feet.

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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 35 | Winter 2012