One Month

Deborah Jackson-Taffa

one month
after the funeral, I pace 

from ripped couch to window,

thick clouds, no coal spun light, electric
lines downed by blowing blackness. 

Battery-run bird-clock 

mimics falcon’s cry at midnight, 

the giant cottonwood groans, 

drops senescent limbs, 

earlier today I worked 

the false-light slot floor 

of the Dancing Eagle Casino, 

sirens and jangling quarters, 

voices melded
in a begging-for-luck murmur, 

a man telling his date scorpions
kill themselves sometimes during wind storms 

by stinging themselves 

over and over in the head. 

But you drove into the canal, 

drowned in that old Camaro, 

with electric windows seized by water 

and too much—.

Uncle, I sing you back on this 

waning gibbous moon, saw
a truck on the freeway as I drove home

this afternoon,  a flatbed trailer filled 

with pruned branches of trees, 

wheels bouncing over potholes, 

hundreds of individual leaves fluttering
and waving at me as if 

they were somehow able to stay alive.

Deborah Jackson-Taffa
Deborah Jackson-Taffa

Deborah Jackson-Taffa is Dean's fellow and candidate for the MFA in Nonfiction Writing (2013) at the University of Iowa where she is currently working on a collection of personal essays. The summer of 2011 she was awarded a fellowship to attend the NY State Writers Institute at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. In December 2011 she will present a portion of her thesis at the Université Michel de Montaigne Bordeaux 3 in Bordeaux, France.
An enrolled member of the Fort Yuma Indian Nation (Kwatsan), Deborah was raised in the Four Corners region of New Mexico and is proud to acknowledge a mixed heritage of Kwatsan, Laguna, and Chicana roots. She has backpacked, traveled, and lived among rural people in many lands including Italy, Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Indonesia, the Philippines, Mexico, and Alaska. Her most recent publication can be found in Best Travel Writing 2011. The world she imagines on the page is a reflection of both her roots and her wings.