Lisa Rose Bradford

The Gaping Trellis
February 10, 2014 Bradford Lisa Rose

The Gaping Trellis


Cigarette burns on drab naugahyde

and a fridge full of cakes announced

Grandpa’s sclerotic death and my

lonely sojourn in yet another foreign home,

filled with empty days on a backyard stoop,

caged by ladders and limbs and the slime

of birdbaths amassing startled buckeyes

that peered through frowzy leaves,

when up from the blackened snow,

Grandma Daisy rose,

scary as she could always be,

fingers piercing the soil, greenly

inviting themselves to the graves

of memorial-day mothers,

each scarlet blade pushing up

to then abandon a heart

and scream the shock of shades:

a taste of the long-buried corpse

that left those roses to climb

the thrilling lattice all alone

and this tuliped and peonied fare

to fill my seven-summered platter.

Still now my perennial studies

of redolent buds and sprouts

glimmer with those bird-bathed evening songs

and dawn’s silvering breath of magnolia blooms,

yet unknown the anxious wait to see

if daisies will ever again come

leap out and touch me.

Lisa Rose Bradford—poet, translator, university professor, musician, and rancher—presently resides in Mar del Plata, Argentina. Her latest publication is a bilingual collection of Argentine poet Juan Gelman’s poetry, Today/Hoy.