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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