Months To Years Spring 2018 Months To Years Spring 2018 - Page 13

The last thing . . . . By Gianna Russo I took from my parents’ house was the bird bath, the one that stood beneath the mulberry tree in my grandmother’s yard, then when that house sold, had gone to my mother. Its bowl was big as a hubcap and baby blue. The pedestal was a Doric column. Both concrete. By the time I took it, its two parts had tumped into the oak leaves of the back yard, separated: one moldy full moon, one mossy sawed trunk.                      I staggered by myself carrying the bowl to my car; I rolled the pedestal through the dead grass, nudging one end then the other with my feet. Heaved them into the trunk. Driving, I planned how I’d scrub and paint, set it outside my studio window for the cardinals, wrens and jays. At home, I heaved the pedestal from the trunk and thought, Now the easy part, the bowl. I gathered its full weight in my arms, swayed towards my oak tree. I lowered, lowered. Inches fro m the ground, I let go.                 The bowl cracked like a shot. Two halves lay split apart. Two empty yards loomed behind me. My mother and grandmother were gone and would never bless birds in my yard.    Only this morning did I remember: last year the winter robins splashed and played all morning in a puddle in my driveway. Gianna Russo is the author of the full-length poetry collection, Moonflower (Kitsune Books), winner of a Florida Book Awards bronze medal, and two chapbooks, including one based on the art work of Vermeer, The Companion of Joy (Green Rabbit Press). Russo is founding editor of YellowJacket Press, (www.yellowjacketpress.org) currently Florida’s only publisher of poetry chapbook manuscripts. A Pushcart Prize nominee, she has published poems in Ekphrasis, Crab Orchard Review, Apalachee Review, Florida Review, Florida Humanities Council Forum, Karamu,The Bloomsbury Review, The Sun, Poet Lore, saw palm, Kestrel, Tampa Review, Water-Stone, The MacGuffin, and Calyx, among others. In 2017, she was named Best of the Bay Local Poet by Creative Loafing. She is assistant professor of English and Cre- ative Writing at Saint Leo University, where she is editor-in-chief of Sandhill Review and director of the Sandhill Writers Retreat. She wears her mother’s ashes in a silver locket to special family gatherings, so her mother never misses out on her legacy. 13