PINWHEEL by Michelle Bonczek Evory

The clock had been resting against
_____a maple’s trunk for who knows how long.
Its battery dead, glass face smashed
_____to small pieces that cut mushrooms’

fontanelles as they emerged moist
_____from earth. She took it home, scrubbed
free the moss, cut and paste the flexible
_____body out of a dance recital photograph,

her daughter’s legs hyperextended
_____into grand jeté. Her toes pointed
to 10 and 3, her right arm stretched
_____casting a wand’s spell. She flipped

through time—first steps, pirouettes,
_____back tucks—backward at first. Then
forward—first kiss, last recital,
graduation, a small wedding on the lake’s dock

at noon, one June. Pink petals fell
_____at weddings, birthdays, Christenings, funerals.
She looked up at her daughter knitting
_____a pair of small booties at her bedside.

She looked down at her own belly, flat
_____as a love letter. The sheets draped thin
her legs, the doorknobs of her knees. She sighed
_____toward her daughter’s belly, round as a beach ball,
rainbow stripes, spinning.

Photo by Jim, used and adapted under CC.