August 5, 2019

The Nostalgic Poetry of Delaney Daly

The Nostalgic Poetry of Delaney Daly
Tender Continuum  
This town is a perfect snow globe  
on a mantelpiece, 
an impenetrable dome. 
Waves of puddles on the stone sidewalk  
swallow us down & 
we become a part of the rotation, 
the silent timepiece,  
the busted backdrop. 
We will never escape it  
even when we box up our  
memories & 
drive to the shore & 
cradle our kin  
or watch them outrun 
our misfortunes.  
Still, this is just a thought 
against actions, 
just a minute  
against an hour. 
When the glass shatters & 
we inhale the valley fog 
for the last time, 
we will draw breath as  
the pale petal in the  
summer storm wind.  
Silent Orenda 
Today, there is an urgency not to move. 
To instead, bury the worn soles of my feet 
in this comfortable, breathable moment, 
one that I am certain will not try to control me - 
in the same way that the passing hours like to 
threaten me and hold me to the slow, choking wind, 
who, with the right motivation, will form a gust 
just resentful enough to toss my dignity 
high from the remnants of my self-esteem. 
And as her whispers become words 
carved into my cracked, pink skin, 
I will transform into something malleable, likeable. 
Still, everyone says I am just a phase of the moon, 
full and vibrant and eager 
until a brighter light begins to scorch my edges and put me to rest. 
Now, all the questions I ask myself are characters in the room, 
sitting, waiting, tapping their feet for me to answer them, 
some so ready to see me stutter and panic, 
they decide to answer for me. 
I can’t say I’m not relieved by this 
but alone, I’m still looking for the fractions 
of myself that equaled zero before 
I wanted to admit it. 
Crescive Spring Tide 
it was a thin layer of fresh spring ice 
that swept her away 
on her way to growing up 
& getting out 
once, she was a 
quick spurt of a dream 
one you’ve had before 
but now it follows you 
wherever you are 
brave enough to lay your head 
& curl your legs 
she comes to you 
as the gleam of a single 
falling, drowning 
on the sharpest blade 
of grass 
if only the snowfall 
had been pounding rain on the 
if only you had tamed her 
before she broke free 
Secondhand Hometown 
Our flight arrives fifteen minutes early & 
upon stepping onto the gangway,  
I inhale the density of the atmosphere & 
exhale it through a condensation that  
accumulates on stickered windows in  
brand new cars.  
I write a message that only 
I will see & as we pass familiar places, 
I feel memories on my skin like 
The soles of my feet stepping onto midwestern soil, 
The smell of the couch cushions at 942, 
The ring of consonants emerging from  
our crowded voices, 
The harsh, slow shut of a patio door, 
The party that’s thrown just because 
The “just come right in” phone calls, 
The sight of open arms & platters of  
deep dish 
Now, I am answering all the questions  
I hoped would be asked 
Now, I am feeding my endless thoughts  
into a familial consciousness  
Now, I am as close to belonging as belonging gets & 
as the train pulls closer & closer to the only city I know, 
I catch myself calling it home & no one corrects me.  


Delaney Daly is the author of let’s reverse the roles, She’s Got a Car, and The Number Five, all published with Beautiful Losers Magazine. She is a graduate student in the School of Library & Information Studies at Texas Woman’s University. When she’s not working, writing, or studying, she is traveling to as many new and beautiful places as humanly possible. One of these days, she’ll finally start writing a novel . . . and finish it.


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