My Friend in Flapping Stages Tries to Take Flight

Rochelle Robinson-Dukes

April is my favorite month.
Its stormy flowers
and puddled rainbows are captivating
as is the lightning
that breaks cool spring nights
like a child’s scribble.
The cracking sound slides between raindrops
like cold feet in flannel sheets
—electricity in whitish
rapid Southern Baptist church claps.
I run through it.

But when you twisted like a lipstick plant,
became a true epiphyte, then an origami ostrich,
hopping on one leg before
biting your lip on your descent
between the kitchen and the dining room,
I ran to you to catch you.

Your seizure scattered the cats like marbles,
placed you firmly in the ER
for four hours and pushed memory from you,
just out of reach of the date, your name.
So, your life has to change; you had to admit
I guess I really have epilepsy.
Something we learned four years ago.

But it was the cutting off knowledge
that happens when the brain misfires
that shook you like wet leaves
on a most deciduous tree—
a beech, maple, or oak—holding drops like pearls,
preciously or pills epileptics must take
even when they feel free
like the natural force
in a charged midnight monsoon.