Samuel Dickison

Samuel Dickison teaches 5th graders in Kailua, HI. He lives with his wife, Harriette, and their son, Forrest.

Danger

My wife raises children in a house
Full of knives and fire.
Electricity slithers through the walls.
Outside, stars fall like trees.

I warn her about this,
But she does not hear me.

She is throwing our children at the moon
And they are laughing
The sound of a thousand fullspeed suns
Crashing into the sky.

Iconography

I start on the coffee table with a sledge hammer
Turning it to splinters big as porcupine quills.

I dismantle all the blankets thread by thread,
Unravelling back and forth like a dog chasing the afternoon.

With the string and the splinters I make a forest
Of conifers and banyans and jungle vines.

The bathroom sink falls next.
Water flows from the wall and wanders through the trees
Like the rivers of Eden.

The rivers pool beside the bookshelves.
I take down all the books and shred every page
To make a beach of clean white paper.

I smash the window and poke its shards into the ceiling,
Where, star-like, they reflect the pink evening sky

Blowing in above the undulating trees.

Obituaries

The busy thrift store ladies shuffle
here and there between the stacks of clothes, folding,
talking, slowly creasing pants that smell like cigarettes
and skirts; hands inked in blue veins,
mottled arms and floral shirts.

They mention weather and the paper:
Freddy Thompson passed away I saw
in the obituary yesterday.

Their names will be there soon
for other friends to check,
inked in newsprint captions under black and white:
perms and swinging cheeks and eyes
that have been magnified by glasses
for their blurry sight,

grandchildren and landlines left behind
for someone else to disconnect.

From the other end the news is more like birth:
Here they come! Arriving pink and naked,
angels with balloons all grin for joy
and share cigars if it’s a boy and ask,
How was the trip? What took so long? How are you?

Not bad, they say. There’s lot’s to see and do.