Saturday, 3 December 2022

Memory Postcards

by Michelle Fulkerson

The air smells of lemon and basil.
They have just finished carving
and saw dust settles upon the tabletop. 
Bay windows open to the azure skyline, infinite and free,
where the crepe myrtle sways in the breeze. 
The chestnut wood is sanded and polished;
iced tea set by the back porch swing,
warmed by the sun's golden rays. 
Green grass sways with the wind;
dandelion seeds get carried away.

Lazy summer nights with sweet syrup sunsets
that drip behind the clouds.
Hues of deep orange, burnt red and cotton candy pink 
inked downwards to the horizon.
As darkness descends,
the smell of a campfire lingers in the air,
around a tent pitched under a handful of constellations.

Rickety old boat docks with weathered wood,
beneath black work boots and a fisherman’s net. 
Water ebbs and flows along,
never still, 
as the clouds open 
upon loose boards and rusty nails.

Endless roadways wind through small town streets,
where the air smells of pollen and diner coffee. 
Once ruby red trucks rattle on through,
dashboards covered in fast food wrappers and empty soda cans. 
Dirty pennies litter the floorboard,
while the chatter of the radio in the background 
is drowned out by thoughts of lazy times.

Bustling city streets,
their curbs lined by mustard yellow taxis
from which suits and briefcases rush to and fro.
Time is precious and fleeting;
the air stinks of car exhaust and sorrow.
Clocks tick as stoplights shift.

* * * * *

"Memory Postcards" is from Michelle Fulkerson's collection
I Am from Stargazing on Rooftops, edited posthumously by her mother, Julie Fulkerson (Cerasus Poetry, July 2022).

Michelle Fulkerson fought her way into the world at just 23 weeks gestation. Against the odds, she survived and thrived. Michelle loved reading, writing and music. She began writing poetry and short stories at age 12. Around that same time, Michelle began struggling with anorexia, anxiety, and depression. She kept a journal where she wrote with poignant honesty regarding her mental health struggles. Michelle wrote up until her suicide, just 4 months shy of her 18th birthday.

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