The trail you leave behind
in the kitchen
you want to be found,
not yet lost, but
my future with you
a morning ritual of baguette crumbs
from our favorite shop
scattered on the counter and floor
crunching under my feet
I wait in line
to buy the last loaf
standing tall in its bread basket
fresh in the early morning
still warm from the oven
the way you like it
I know there will be crumbs
and the trail that remains
after your midnight feast
of peanut butter and honey
on a toasted slice
yet I buy the baguette anyway
I carry my own crumbs
remnants of a life before you
a different time, different goals
hope, fear, love, disappointment
greatest joy and deepest sadness
challenges that we both faced
I didn’t know I was searching for you
we were both lost
in our thoughts, in our grief
As life proceeded with little consequence
as though everything was normal
So we normalized life
I stand here for you
knowing that a life
of eloquent words
and a trail of bread crumbs
left behind in the morning
has captured my heart
Victoria Emmons, ©2019
Her twigs whistle softly
Woodwinds not yet silenced
Still merry with seasonal change
Rustling leaves offer a hint of song
High notes and low ones
Orchestrated by the wind
Clever of the skies
To solicit mid-air composition
A subtle gift to my ears
Music for the heavens
And those who fly high
Above swooning branches
Melodies that dance forever
Join tiny voices of sparrows
And rouse cackling blackbirds
She gently touches her cloak
Slowly, then with vigor, she
Plunges through each chord
Mighty wind at her back
A gust arrives in D Minor
Blows her instrument awry
Her tempo changes,
Each prelude starts anew
A scorching endless song
Percussion at the ready
Clashing arms mere zest
To flute-like singing bees
That hum, dance and
Swirl to the sound
Of life in the making
Her symphony foretells
Desire, yet alas, quiet
When winter will silence her song
—Victoria Emmons, 2018
In fifteen minutes you and I will turn thirty.
That long ago, so much time vanished.
Fifteen minutes disappearing like thirty years.
At midnight, all those years will have passed.
That day we met, we cued up for good reason.
A boat too full let us laugh together instead,
share a beer at the hotel bar,
become friends and lovers for life.
Ten minutes remain until thirty years arrive.
We can soon celebrate a milestone,
worth a bottle of your best champagne.
Bubbles make me laugh. So do you.
I hear your laughter ring in my head. Yet
how heavy it seems. I carry that laughter with me.
Its joy and its burden. A love that will not end.
A memory that will not cease to exist.
Five more minutes and our thirty-year anniversary
becomes real. Aunt Wilma said thirties were the
best years. Best for everything. Her wisdom stays
with me. But after thirty years, a void appears.
Not the same without you, my love, despite the hour.
Remember our anniversary, my calendar tells me.
It is now done. Check you off my to-do list.
I remembered. No one else did.
–Victoria Emmons, 16 May 2017
do you know the sound of glory when it flies in your flushed face
and seizes your heart
ruffles your mind
farther from anything you have ever known
riveting noise clambers in your ears
oceans drip from your eyelashes
ooze through nostril chambers
until all senses have vanished
and your quivering lips can muster only trite and simple sounds
that your muddled brain wants to speak
but has no voice
—Victoria Emmons © 2016