You are forever encased
in amber surrounded
by thick, translucent copper.
You were ten when the sluggish
sap dripped down your face,
trapping you in youthful rage.
We sat on my dirty yellow swing set
as you taught me about reincarnation.
You looked at my fat chihuahua
and said it was my Grandpa.
You laughed as she licked your feet
and told me, God doesn’t exist.
You were ten when the syrup filled
your throat. Plugging your lungs.
Stopping your breath.
Monarchs bloated my stomach
the first time I saw your caramel eyes.
Stopping my breath.
You borrowed my red pen and sketched
a messy rose on my notebook paper
saying Love is a Hurricane.
You were ten when the sap
hardened around your body,
freezing you fist first
into a tree. The sap engulfed you
as your four-wheeler caught aflame.
As your mother ran, sobbing your name.
And I am forever encased in Amber.
A small hand reaches down
and picks a weed flower. You smile,
knowing the bloom's worth.
She is dressed in all blue, a true sky
mirror, as she tucks one sprout behind
her ear. The rest of the bundle she thrusts
towards you. Strong for your age, sixty-two
and tumbling in the St. Augustine grass
with the ease of your granddaughter,
you pause and lay on the thawed
ground and listen to her laughs.
As you watch under the oak, you
didn’t know her first memory would be
of a petite garden tanned woman
with black hair, only whispers of grey.
About the author: Emily Burleigh is a graduating senior at McNeese State University in Lake Charles, Louisiana. She will be receiving a Bachelor of Arts in Comparative Literature in Spring of 2019. Burleigh has never published her poetry before, but has been writing recreationally since she was a teen. She isn’t sure where the future is taking her, but she is excited for it nonetheless.