• First Year

    Ashley Mace Havird

    Fall 2018

    Mine was a child’s fall,
    the hurt a mother or father can more or less fix
    with Band-Aids, a kiss. Almost to the top
    of the steep concrete steps to the gym,
    my toe jammed. Caught my weight on stiff arms.
    (Decent reflexes for sixty-three.) Spectacularly
    bloody, my scraped-raw palms, skinned knees . . .
    The healing, though! I was obsessed.
    Hands held out, fingers splayed. Imagine:
    all those invisible cells repairing.
    First the shredded skin—it dried overnight
    the way a fallen leaf dries.
    Next the archipelago of scabs.
    The clear plastic film of scar.
    After a week, good as new . . .
    Nine months ago, my father died.
    Every day at least once but usually more
    I think, You are gone from this world
    where you lived all my life
    It seems a miracle.

    Ashley Mace Havird’s most recent collection of poems, The Garden of the Fugitives, won the 2013 X. J. Kennedy Prize. Her novel, Lightningstruck, won the 2015 Ferrol Sams Award.

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