Tanka Kukai 1

Roundtable Tanka Kukai 1, Fall 2011

I pack to leave again,
I'll be gone for only a day.
My greatest guilt
the sad look
on your brown dog face.

alone in the room
where we used to fight
I am still trapped
beneath the weight
of your love

the love of my life
silently signs his name
and leaves
his ring
on the table

circle dance
around the newly-weds
the groom hopes
that the third time
is really the charm

the way you look
at me sometimes,
like you undress me
with your eyes,
brings shivers to my spine

October wind,
you bring
the only thing
left for me
to hold on to

late at night
as we philosophize
my drunk and more worldly cousin
fiercely implores us
not to try crack

hot water burns my skin
I scrub hard
making a red mark
that starts to welt
Why won't he come off?

born in the Low End
raised in the Woods
cash, cars, clothes: drugs
packin' heat: choppas
and this is the 'Thug life?'

it's amazing how
everything seems
before we realize
it isn't real

summer swelter
hosing off the horse
I secretly take
a long cool

living together
like the three musketeers
through the best and worst
i'm on my own

aunts cousins and sisters
gathered in the kitchen
the laughter ceases
when someone accidentally mentions
her late husband

an empty face is what I see
when I think of her
treading slowly
with flowers and tears
Hello, mother

a little bee
buzzes quietly by,
while the realizations
of what i've done

a love affair
in the Garden of Eden:
petal after petal falls,
leaving only

on a windy Sunday
you look at me nervously
I receive the keys to your house,
and your heart.
I reply instantly.

teen suicide
whispers through
the school
everyone knows
her name now

always overshadowed
by the chosen one
I have a lot to give
does Hermione see?
I hope she does

a dandelion seed
carried by a furious wind,
drowning in a river
another wish

the chapel
resonates light
from the people within
but my light
feels so painful

the changing clouds above
blue skies
a warm breeze
when at last her voice
brings me back

puddles of summer moonlight . . .
beneath the forest's eyes
we embrace
to drink magic from lips
and pray autumn away

i touch the back
of your hand
wondering how many others
have been held
by it

a full plate
I give thanks
for these carrots
potatoes, roast beef
all the dreams in your eyes

after stoking the fire
I brush the ashes from my hair
and smile
perhaps tomorrow
I'll burn his memories too

I'm fine, I'm fine, I'm fine
a mantra repeats in different tones
I know I'm fine
but it doesn't hurt
to be sure.

you close the door
I shut my eyes
wondering how you
could take that love
away from me

the tip of your nose
covered in kisses
I bathe you in
the sunlight
of mid-morning daydreams

first day of school
she comes home
waving a yellow form
her lifelong dream
to play the violin

© 2011, Randy Brooks • Millikin University
All rights returned to authors upon publication.