Ariana D. Den Bleyker
My Children & I Sit on a Bench at Lake Wallenpaupack
Watching August Set with the Sun
The dark awakens, connecting with the waning
light on the other side of the mountain
& I’ve come to recognize my children
in the pinks & purples,
their dreams & youth hot & alive in the summer heat.
We clasp hands along a bench holding the light
a little longer into the future.
Sometimes there’s a sunset different from the rest.
The boats float beneath it, shimmering water
pocketing time; what we keep
is ourselves, the promise of what’s on the other side.
There they say what’s eternal is another sunrise,
a moment of peace, of rest, of joy.
Their glowing faces radiate
into the sinking sun while my proud bones crack,
spill marrow onto their feet.
Hand-in-hand we weave the stillness
of our shadows lengthening homeward,
backs against the bench,
content as it gets darker. Later, they’ll dream
in silence & I’ll smile knowing
they’ve felt the stars brush their hair.
My Teenage Son Rambles Incessantly for Nearly an Hour
on a Random Topic & I’ve Failed to Listen
His voice comforts me, gathers energy, finds adventure
inside an awkward body. Extraordinarily gifted
in human nature, in quest for answers, knowledge, he tells me
fish feel water as if walking barefoot
through blue grass at midnight, the long, black hairs of a dream
snapping—satisfying, silent curiosity—
an exhilarating feeling, exuberant & wild, vivid, beautiful, tantalizing.
He’s inviting me to come listen, climb cacti & touch wildlife.
I live, breathe in time, spun by the belief, perception, faith
& knowledge we all live out moments filled with fragrance or dust—
our choice, our fears & hesitations. Hearing my heart beat an anthem,
feeling a deep oceanic gulp of laughter, the knowing & forgetting
leaves me nowhere else to go but now. It’s only time
& I’ve failed to hoard it against some unknown future that may never dream;
instead, I let his voice step through open hands, flood my ears,
pry them open because this instance is forever,
the only time meant for living, drinking deep & dancing wildly,
not something tucked away in cedar
for those who don’t want to step
into fire & spend their moment as flame.
Ariana D. Den Bleyker is a Pittsburgh native currently residing in New York’s Hudson Valley where she is a wife and mother of two. When she’s not writing, she’s spending time with her family and every once in a while sleeps. She is the author of three collections, fifteen chapbooks, a novelette, an experimental memoir, and two crime novellas. She hopes you'll fall in love with her words.