Bypass

by Ellie A. Rogers Issue: Spring 2018
A stranger saw my father’s heart,
sawed his breastbone in two.

Saw chambers where a mélange
of tired desires downed in fascia,

feathery down, behind velvet, irreversible
curtains. The stranger parted the curtains.

Did the stranger see my father’s dream
of orchard-keeping there?

Slow hills crested with first frost.
A record of original reds, an old shade

where he would rest his kept ache
from before we seeds were born, or borne

by wind away. Before we clamored glad
to our parents’ laps, hay and mud

in twiggy nests of tangled hair,
cider dripping from our lips.

From a low branch, the surgeon snipped
a scion, a bypass graft, stitched shut

the open orchard in its autumn fog,
where ripening apples hang, in even

golden rows—uneaten—and drop.


Ellie A. Rogers

Ellie A. Rogers has an MFA in creative writing from Western Washington University. She is currently a poetry editor at The Hopper, and she has served as assistant managing editor of Bellingham Review. You can find some of her recent work in Ecotone, Redivider, and So to Speak.