Travis Healy

8957 Oakwood Way

I remember my father’s old home.

What happened to the bulging yard,

and the somewhat cracked driveway?

They were only the pathways to the crooked,

layered steps that elevate to the entrance of my memory.

The weary door’s paint grew long and curled.

The crusted and green snow blanketed my feet

as the whispering hinges corroded my inner ear.

Now, down the hallway I go, towards the

confined bathroom and past the bedroom

(Also known as the place where I measured my height).

I turn right, into the ever-present aroma of

our kitchen. I still see my dad reaching into the oven,

stirring the wooden spoon in the pot on the stove,

and grasping the appropriate amount of sterling silver.

I follow the striving cook as he runs outside,

onto his sweat-soaked, hand-made deck,

and finally, galloped down the flawlessly flat stairs.

He opens the grill. A plethora of black

and opaque smoke shrouds his eyes

as he reaches for the tall and tenacious tongs.

The steak is plump and perfectly pink in the middle,

the noodles are limp and drape my divine dish,

the potatoes taste sweet and are colored orange and brown.

They burn my tongue, the roof of my mouth, and

The back of my throat as they coagulate1 in my stomach.

However, I do not taste these ambrosial delights

anymore. I walk backwards, parting the opaque smoke,

up the flawlessly flat stairs, onto the sweat-soaked

and hand-made deck, through the slightly skewed glass door

that leads into the divine scent of our kitchen,

past the confined cubical of a bathroom, stopping, only slightly,

to remember the time when I was only 4 feet tall.

As I walk, still backwards, through the stentorian2,

olive green, and wilting door. I thrust the rusty key

into the now unused lock of the door,

and shut the memories behind me for the last time.

For this is no longer my father’s home.


1 Coagulate: clot; to form a solid mass in a liquid

2 Stentorian: loud, powerful, booming

Pretending

Villanelle

I pretend my compositions matter.

They dance around my feet and in my mind.

Dead, or alive? Hopefully the latter.

All of my songs create their own clatter,

Constantly fast-forward, always rewind.

I pretend my compositions matter.

Every piece arranged into a pattern;

Seeing them all at once, I’m going blind.

Dead, or alive? Hopefully the latter.

Others listen; I hear “silent” chatter.

Their laughter, to my ears, is like a grind.

I pretend my compositions matter.

They laugh and laugh, my music shrinks, flatter.

I don’t write for them, for they’re unkind.

Dead, or alive? Hopefully the latter.

My music is glass, and it will shatter.

Writing only for my pleasure, unbind.

I pretend my compositions matter.

Dead, or alive? Hopefully the latter.

Systematic Chaos:

Ars Poetica

The ants scurry amongst their hill,

like the blood in our veins.

our saccadic eyes study them and

their systematically chaotic way of life.

An influx of ants gather and hoard

Food. They are constantly leaving,

and constantly arriving. This is for

the rationale of replenishing their hill.

The hill is a being in itself. And it

Requires constant motion in order

to sustain existence and regulation.

Constant motion is for the Queen.

The ant Queen spawns her workers…

…that is her daily routine.

Each ant has its own job. And each job

benefits the promotion of the hill.

Every ant’s job is to satisfy the Queen.

She is their purpose and dedication.

Without the Queen there is no hill

and vice versa…

At least until the combination

of sun and glass reigns chaos,

and the systematic process

of rebirth produces a new hill.

Where I’m From Poem:

Angelic Father

I am from Maryland,

home to countless terrapins

colored red, black, white, and gold.

I’m from hockey in Philadelphia.

Where the player take flight.

Unfortunately, flight is not required

by certain words in order to win.

I am from constant injury

caused when crossing the road.

I’m from a fractured skull,

broken fingers, broken toes,

and the slight curvature of my spine.

This is one pain that only gets worse.

I am from Saturday morning cartoons,

and the cold pizza for breakfast.

It still tastes delectable,

but it is not at its prime.

I am from music of all genres

hearing each not

not simply listening.

I’m from strings wound with steel.

Blistered fingers are hardly noticed

when you become your music.

I’m from guitar and piano…

from tablature and sheet music…

from frets, and keys of black and white.

Composing is a daily routine.

I’m from the portrait on my arm,

my hero and my best friend,

permanently pricked into my skin.

A once loving husband,

and an angelic father of two.

Micro Fiction:

A Family that Borrows

“Halt!” shouted the airport security officer. He, along with the rest of the airport security staff, raced after a man and his family who were to be considered “secret”. Following along in the chase was the newlyweds that unknowingly provided a home for this well hidden family. This family had purchased plane tickets with “borrowed” money. Departure time was scheduled for 2:20 p.m…. It is now 2:17.

The recently discovered family finally reaches their gate. This is an oh too familiar scene for them. The homeless family decided long ago, to secretly live in other peoples’ homes’. But once they were discovered, they would have to relocate again…and again. They way they can afford to relocate is by stealing money from their providers. This is the life they chose to live, but don’t want to.

As the family sat in their seats, they prayed, with closed eyes, that nobody would find them. Their minds tried to focus on random things, such as how the seats were still warm from the passengers of the last flight. But their thoughts kept coming back to being vulnerable, and defenseless. A clutter arose, and it was growing louder as it stumbled down the aisle. It reached their row of seats.

The man awoke to silence. A somewhat large and well-dressed man was gleaming over what lye in the gutter. He offered some change and went on. The clumsy hands of the man in the gutter collected every last penny.