Poetry from Michelle Reale


My father’s geographical tendencies were nurtured when he began to walk. His gentle mother’s hands on his small shoulders moved him toward or away from things like a guiding light.  There was a velocity to his knowing where his feet were planted, fast and fastidious, as if nothing else mattered.  

The familiarity of blood meant turbulence in the strictest sense of the word, and gave usable information years and years later. 

Intercessory prayer had us both kneeling at the altar in a church filled to the brim with a visual coding that was second nature to us.  The  cynical among us called it sorcery, or worse.  I had eyes like glass, which magnified what I held in the stillborn heart I was born with. I dictated to my father everything I saw. When a murder of crows softly cooed in my general vicinity, I thought of how transitory comfort is to all living things. Here one day, gone the next.  

My father stood back, crossed his arms in front of him and I knew he feared it was an omen because geography aside, we were a superstitious people, given to signs and symbols, and robed in the inflected dialect we held so close, despite the years.  When my father turned from me I pushed away the urge to guide him. We can read each other like a book, but it doesn’t mean we have to.  

Answers to prayers are eventually bestowed.  We hold patience, above all, in pockets where we will dip our hands for reassurance. All in good time.  All in good time.

Michelle Reale is the author of several poetry and flash collections, including Season of Subtraction (Bordighera Press, 2019) , Blood Memory (Idea Press), and In the Year of Hurricane Agnes (Alien Buddha Press).  She is the Founding and Managing Editor for both OVUNQUE SIAMO: New Italian-American Writing and The Red Fern Review. She teaches poetry in the MFA program at Arcadia University.

One thought on “Poetry from Michelle Reale

  1. Michelle, I pictured you and your Dad like a motion picture and it was beautiful! Thank you for sharing your life with such gorgeous words! Love you so much! ❤️

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