Twists of Smoke

My heart is brown, and deeply gnarled;

It’s sunken deep with roots-

It’s dry and cracked and sits,

Just wilted slight, like rotten fruit.


It cannot laugh, make tears or sleep,

But still it lingers through.

And as the night returns to day

My heart returns to you.


And as you trample through your day

And twirl in twists of smoke,

My heart looks for your supple lips

Remembering words you spoke.


I don’t speak to my rooted heart

Though still he listens well;

If you’ve just one word to say,

Please go ahead and tell.


My heart is brown, and deeply gnarled,

But still it hears the sound-

As love creeps up from sunken places

And plants seeds in the ground.


These are its seeds, formed from its roots,

They scarcely ever grow.

They thrive on phantom joys of days

But starve from things they know.


So if you have a word to say,

And if that word is ‘No’-

It’s best to whisper to my heart

So that his roots sink low.


-B.W. Gladney


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