Michelle Reale

WAIVE, 1972

My father waits for me in the field of pain. The rescued box turtle who migrated from
suburban creek to stucco hesitates in the brown grass.  We shade our eyes with the
fatigue of soldiers, as my father sighs with ominous disgust. Hours before, I’d read a
story in a thick book about something so much gentler than what might be idyllic. But
afterwards, I felt disappointed in my roots. A dog with yellow teeth runs in circles and
my father’s hand is rough in mine. I go to a third space that sounds like crescendo while
the dog barks to our retreating backs.  My father is silent as I thumb my fragile emotional
lexicon for words to stuff in all of the empty spaces. The vast world cowers. We melt on
the vinyl seats of the hot car, but I still want to sing all the songs I know by heart, with
the windows open.  I want whatever is farther than my eyes can see. 

Michelle Reale is the author of several poetry collections, including  Season of Subtraction (Bordighera Press, 2019) ,Blood Memory (Idea Press, 2021) and Confini: Poems of Refugees in Sicily (Cervena Barva Press, 2022).  Her collection In the Year of Hurricane Agnes is forthcoming from Alien Buddha Press.She is the Founding and Managing Editor for both OVUNQUE SIAMO: New Italian-American Writing and The Red Fern Review.