After Moving Back to Alabama
All over, we drive with kids.
I introduce you to friends,
those red dirt roads that raised me.
I trim your hair over graves,
leave the locks for lizards and wrens.
We pen histories for pine fields
scarred by thousands of stumps.
I lick rail tracks, dye our clothes
with hibiscus, set the color with rusted nails.
To show you what I love,
I must give you what I couldn't
leave: the beauty & shame
tangling like vines
over rotting wood eaves.
This is how love works,
its line seldom end-stopped,
its souvenirs stamped on our minds
like vacant swing-sets.
The daffodils sleep in brick beds.
The saddled estrangements sigh.
This is what the poem wants:
longing's hoofed reprise.
Alina Stefanescu was born in Romania and lives in Birmingham, Alabama, with her partner and several intense mammals. Her writing can be found in diverse journals, including Prairie Schooner, North American Review, FLOCK, Southern Humanities Review, Crab Creek Review, Virga, Whale Road Review, and others. She serves as poetry editor for Pidgeonholes, poetry editor for Random Sample Review, and poetry reviewer for Up the Staircase Quarterly. A finalist for the 2019 Kurt Brown AWP Prize, Alina won the 2019 River Heron Poetry Prize. She still can't believe (or deserve) any of this.
Art: "Balloon-Prospect," Thomas Baldwin, via Public Domain Review