two poems

by Francis Daulerio

I Want To Call This Poem Hope
for Scott Hutchison

We’d thought last winter’s flux
had finally drained the life from
our black locust,
its gaunt limbs growing
more brittle with each heavy snow.

But not having funds to rip it down,
the old, furrowed bastard stayed put,
and on nights with wind we slept
with forearms over foreheads
prepared for the crash.

But this spring,
and surprising even itself, I think,
that gnarled fucker pushed out
long helixed blooms
and oh!
did the smell stone the bees
and oh!
did we laugh and dance
in the snowfall of white petals—
the joy of life not lost.

Sitting in its shade just now,
I’m thinking again of my friend
who went too early,
who thought, from the immediate look of it all
he had no more color left
and fell out
of this world.

Up through these branches, I’m looking
for some light
to dull the sting of this loss,
to scream into the world his hymn
All is not lost, friends!
All is not lost!
until my face is flushed with blood,
eyes wet from the spray of that far away
water I can’t stop seeing
when I close them,
the unfathomable height dizzying me
so much that I’ve found myself
here on the ground,
steadying beneath this tree
that almost went down, too,
aware only now of a bird above me
singing for no one but the wind,
the blooms on my wife’s honeysuckle vines
filling our air with summer,
and the pumping energy of life through
the roots beneath me,
a heartbeat so full of
our endless, changing futures.



Nine weeks in,
and this gray-black fuzzy
picture of my daughter
is now breathing,
sort of.

The ultrasound technician calls it
to build memory
so it’ll be natural
on the outside.

Two miles away
my grandmother’s nurse
reminds her how
it works:

Smell the roses.
Blow out the candles.

Outside, autumn’s
harvest bolts
in the heat
while the goldenrod topples,
grown too tall
for its own

Francis Daulerio is the author of two collaborative collections of poetry and art with Frightened Rabbit frontman, Scott Hutchison. Heading into its third edition, his debut, If & When We Wake, was released in 2015 and chronicles the process of healing after loss.




Artwork by: Scott Hutchison