Jillian Smith – Poem – 6

Stealing from Whole
by Jillian Smith

What I wouldn’t give sometimes to do 
the one thing the day doesn’t want me to.

To let the hours sprawl wasted in bed,
to pick a spot in a field and become one

with the dirt and ants, to eat ice cream for breakfast,
to buy something riskily expensive, to play

like a cat, with the light’s reflection. What I wouldn’t give
to stop the laws of gravity, the barging

mechanism of time that loves, more than anything,
to antagonize me with its drums, its thin

lines that creep around the mouth
and eyes, those ghastly threads that Luke 

plucks from my head while I swing casually on the porch 
swing trying to read, when really I am nervous

for his parents to come over, for them to read 
the book of our house, to see how carefully I have 

arranged the chapters, how I’ve cut each page’s
edge clean, and how I hope they only see

with what work we’ve hammered together
two lives that still splinter

at the ends, two trees whose roots
still ache to bend, and not the one tree, how it sometimes

yearns for the lightning’s lash, pounding
mallet of thunder, bullet of wind,

rain’s heaving fists, then the branches
broken without regret, leaves twisted and

flayed and strewing the street, multicolored 
and glittering in the aftermath.


Jillian Smith is a writer living in Atlanta, GA. She is currently pursuing her PhD in Poetry at Georgia State University. Jill’s poetry has been featured in SOFTBLOW Poetry Journal, Anderbo, Bluestem Magazine, and Barking Sycamores. Originally from outside Philadelphia, Jill got her BA in English from Penn State University and her MFA in Fiction from Florida State University. She recently got married, welcomed two cats into her family, and moved into her first home.