Danielle Beazer Dubrasky

Night Patterns

Modra Vasa by Gregor Perušek

Sunday evenings a widow of thirty years closes her book
on the red hills she has known since childhood,

gathers autumn roses in a vase to call her husband back
and waits for him to carry her over the next threshold.

Our other neighbor’s chimney blots the sky with wood smoke
after his wife left him to the clicking tongues of townspeople

who never saw her shudder beneath the anger masked behind
a handy-man’s smile that raged against their sons until all three boys

scattered by the roadside—one fell into thorns, the other on fertile ground,
and the youngest never opened but overdosed on a couch in the basement.

I once felt the hand of God over my eyes—
I stood in the middle of town on a winter night,

stretched my arms wide across rooftops and with one hand
reached for snow-covered volcanic peaks on the western side,

while my fingers traced fossils in sandstone cliffs to the east.
I was in love with someone and maybe I mistook him for God.

But tonight Sulli’s Café burns neon over Main Street
and I am out of sorts in my eighth month of pregnancy,

my husky shaking her collar beside me as we walk past houses
blue with television light, and the closed haunted Lunt Hotel.

I have lost many people—my father, my brother, a friend.
In two days our daughter will be born, but I don’t know that yet.

Conceived on an early March night, she is still on the other side—
the shuttered streets and trace of wood smoke, all I can embrace on this one.


About the writer:
Danielle Beazer Dubrasky directs the Grace A. Tanner Center for Human Values and is an associate professor of creative writing at Southern Utah University. Her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Chiron Review, South Dakota Review, Ninth Letter, Main Street Rag, Pilgrimage, saltfront, Cave Wall, and Terrain.org. In 2017, Red Butte Press at U. of Utah published a letter-pressed folio of her poems called Invisible Shores; and her chapbook, Ruin and Light, won the 2014 Anabiosis Press Chapbook Competition. She is a two-time winner of the Utah Division of Arts and Museums original writing competition in poetry.

Image: Modra Vasa by Gregor Perušek (1887-1940). Oil on Masonite. 80 x 60 cm. By 1930. Public domain.