Wow, Brenda, I love that you took these words from street signs along your trip. And I loved playing with them. 🙂
bird, bridge, unstable, wild, bend, rock,
retreat, bear, lane, fallen, meadow, island
The word if is a curtain
in the right breeze it floats between the real and the dream
shows the way to a room without walls, a room part forest of fallen trees where cold is law and no birds can sing, and part golden meadow, part air and light
two parts shiver and one part desire sliding up your arm and over your shoulder and around your neck, kisses, whispers promises in your ear.
The word if is an island
with a house and a breakfast table with coffee and juice and toast
newspaper spread open to show you tragedies and miracles, deaths, births, the black and white of life.
it’s beautiful, it really is, but so small,
so small that one unstable tide washes it over and leaves a swimmy image, like a cardboard cut-out; too real to actually exist.
The word if is a neuron
it prowls in the heart and over-rides the brain and acts like a bridge to bend or bind the will so thoughts run like wild horses
and little girls and boys look at reflections on water and imagine moonlight to be a path, and the lights of the cars driving the twisty lane on the opposite shore to be the lights of some fairytale world that is almost within reach.
The word if is a shrew
it darts across your vision and hides behind rocks and retreats underground when the world is too turbulent for such a tiny thing to bear
it stays just behind the sun and walks only thru shadows and if you quietly, patiently sit beside it on the ground it will come to you and sit quietly, softly, warmly in your palm.
The word if gives you goose bumps
it is a doorway to an ideal world of yellow dandelions, of breaking the dandelion stem, brown juice staining your hands, blowing the clock catching it in mid flight,
wipe off your fingers or cover the new ifs with dust, cover the fact that they have not always been there.
The word if is a grand oak in autumn
it’s lived for hundreds of years of seasons of bud, leaf and drop, thru drought and monsoon and still it gives gold
you want to touch the gold, own the gold, ephemeral though ifs are
And, after shaking the tree so hard, you feel obliged to sweep up the leaves.