by Ronnie Sirmans
“I like mousse with my juice,” my granddaughter tells me. “I go like a goose on the loose. See, poems are so easy, Pa-Pa.” We wend our way across my yard, and I tell little Anna, “Yes, like this,” as I pick up a crinkled leaf, dead, and crumble it between my fingers. “What word is that, my petite poet?” I ask. “Old,” she says as the flecks of brittle parchment pepper the air. And suddenly, a goose honks once as it flies overhead, then another, and another, and Anna giggles. My smile hides a silent prayer: A hope that she might one day hear the crackle of such a leaf and catch little syllables flaking, perhaps iambic geese overhead as epitaphs fall softly from trees.
Ronnie Sirmans is an Atlanta print newspaper digital editor whose poetry has appeared in Fathom, Sojourners, Ekstasis, Reformed Journal, America, Heart of Flesh, and elsewhere.