Apology and Winter Things by Matthew Dickman

Apology and Winter Things

Matthew Dickman

 In the book of Mark a home is built like a beehive, inside
it’s a shining comb.  A place to face each other in the light.
This is not my home.  My home, constantly turning, has four walls
filled up with winter things:  a north wind and pine cones, a cord
of wet wood. In the yard the leaves rot.  The stone basement fills
up with sticks our dog spits out, the soft bodies of mice our cat
has worked into a pulp of fur and mud: Christmas
has never come so slowly.  In the dark I wait for it to appear
like parents in the doorway, like my dark siblings appearing
from their wax cells: in the bathroom my sister removes her
bandages, in the bedroom my brother hides himself under a bunk,
chews his sucking-thumb.  In the kitchen my mother holds me up
by my wrists and shakes me until I am sorry. I am sorry.  She loves me.
In the book of Mark the mother and son are different:  they hardly touch.