Letters to Minnehaha Creek: XII by Victoria Peterson-Hilleque

Here is a small prairie on 5th
Avenue. Grass and wildflowers

hold off concrete and buses
with their dried clothes.

I do not know
the name of this feeling:

Is it longing or ecstasy?
I want to say to Dorothy,
 
Here’s something
we missed.

She once said I am
 going to miss me.

A honey colored squirrel
glides by full

of brown mystery.

~~~~~

Do you feel the pound
of copper pipes pressed

into your skin, or the sparks
of the soldering iron?

Do you have a shield?
Tree roots dangle down

from the stump,
a dismembered hand

running its fingers
through your hair.

I cross the bridge under the diagonal
tree, stay on the path.

I would like to gather
you around me like a warm

blanket but you cannot chase
the chill from my bones.

Can you feel your own mystery?

~~~~~

Snowflakes fall
intermittently. Past

Martin Luther King Park,
the Peterbilt truck

carries sod and a Bobcat
puts grass along the sound

barrier.  I watch for a place
to warm up and rest.

El Paradisio Mexican
Restaurant is here, but

I do not have money.
I cross over the freeway,

stop, press my forehead
against the chain-link fence.

Something in me rushes away
at the speed of the cars—

lost before I name it.

Victoria Peterson-Hilleque
Victoria_Peterson_Hilleque-Letters_to_Minnehaha_CreekVictoria Peterson-Hilleque’s poems appeared or are forthcoming in Poetry Quarterly, Paper Nautilus, Apeiron Review, and other journals. She’s the Poet-In-Residence at Solomon’s Porch Church where she has taught a poetry workshop.