“Traces” & “Moments” by David J. Kennedy


The moon is a burnt orange goddess

traversing the quay. Beads of rain arrive

as shooting stars down a misty window

on the starboard side, blurring city lights

and memories old and new. Gold flecks

adorn a velvet ceiling and silver candelabras

stand to attention on circular tables, arms taut.

The dance floor is a terpsichorean collage

of sequins and twirls ─ your graceful steps an

untethered voyage to a warmer place and time,

like an Arctic Tern chasing the sun to the end

of the earth; each summer an invitation to begin

anew. Rebirth is running half-way to Athens,

or letting go of the past in the divine heights

of Bhutan. At the end of the Camino de Santiago

trail, a pilgrim glimpses the boundless Atlantic,

and sees traces of herself.


A lone paperbark on Noble Street weeps.

Weary branches clutch the frayed rope

of June’s dearest swing, flailing listless

in the barely-there breeze.

The picket fence is turning to ash —

scene of longing and long goodbyes,

where you said every death is the end

of an untold story.

Since you left, moments lie dormant.

They stir on the wings of mundane cues

like running through Hyde Park

as swans convene in the autumn fog.

I dreamt you planted a lemon tree beside

a monument to the dead. I prefer the one

where you tend flowers on the porch

while bees mingle in the midday sun,

and the village it takes to raise a child

binds you — breaking any fall.

David J. Kennedy is a poet and non-fiction writer from Sydney, Australia. Themes of aging, wonder, and mortality feature prominently in his writing, and he has work published, or forthcoming in South Florida Poetry Journal, Jupiter Review, Words & Whispers, and Boats Against The Current Poetry Magazine. Twitter: @DavidJKennedy_