Gentle Matthew sits silent, a stable home
next to my unfurling dress,
skirts blowing a loose prayer into the cold sand.
I talk too much, Daddy.
He does not move at my confession,
but winter light shifts slightly
against his old shell-back, and then I know
he loves me, no-words-deeply.
The slippery wake laps at our toad-mouths,
pulls stories of wave and family
to the blue-tinged shore, nibbles truth from our tongues.
Don’t worry, Anne. Never worry.
April Michelle Bratten lives in North Dakota. She has work published or forthcoming in Zone 3, Thrush Poetry Journal, and Southeast Review, among others. Her chapbook, Anne with an E, is due to be published by dancing girl press in late 2015. She is the editor of Up the Staircase Quarterly. You can find out more at aprilmichellebratten.com.