Brigid’s Air By Kevin Miller

Brigid’s Air
  
Brigid carries forgiveness in a paper sack
sits on the bench near the town center.
The fountain spits from its fish mouth
the mist drifts to her, as always, wind 
finds her— campfires, walks, at play.   
If she were a kite it might make sense,
  
a gust rattles her sticks, tangles a tail, since
she was a kid she lived in fear, a sad-sack
girl unable to find ease. Her play
a mad-mix black comedy, the center 
of sorrow dusted with sequin bits to wind
her up. She longed to keep her mouth
  
a line to hide doubt. Mother’s mouth
forced her to the bag of breath, the sense
of shame like sand in the eyes, grit, a wind
driven vane squeals and spins, her sack
is a calm, safe from the zephyr’s center. 
She breathes this balance, fair play
  
her defense from a sudden gust, her play
to press chest to knees, a closed-mouth
sip of air, she exhales forgiveness to center 
herself, to be the storm, common sense
says she is not at fault, no sack
cloth and ashes for Brigid, re-wind
  
each reel Mother spun, a venom-wind
soundtrack with mean features to play
as home movies. Mother’s favorite sack
of snakes, the twisted lies spark mouth
to a flame, her mother-speak nonsense
of a woman longing to be the center
  
of attention, while Brigid is the center 
her father keeps, his way to wind
away from the mother, his singular sense 
of commitment, as if this one act play
ends when Brigid leaves home, his mouth
steady as love, absolution in her sack.
  
A child caught in the center plays
the wind like a second sense, her mouth
whispers thin as she gives her mom the sack. 

Kevin Miller lives in Tacoma, Washington. Wandering Aengus Press published his most recent collection Vanish in 2019. Miller taught in the public schools of Washington State for thirty-nine years.

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