One For The Way

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(Photo: Dustin Humes on Unsplash)

 

She knew when she opened the window

That day

That it would be

One

For the way.

The frost on the petals

The chill in the air

The way that stray branches

Scraped against the stair.

The breath of new winter

Kissing her hair.

 

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: Way

 

 

Winter’s Tread

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(Photo: Stéphane Juban on Unsplash)

 

When the cold gripped hard

And pulled life from the sinews

Of the earth,

And when the wind screamed wild

Among the emptied branches

Overhead,

She’d seek the warm embrace

Of the inglenook’s fireplace

And write a book

Of summer’s heat

Inside her

Head.

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille poetry challenge: Inglenook

 

The Present

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(Photo: Adam Nieścioruk on Unsplash)

 

She was shaking when I entered the room. Hands wringing, lips trembling, her eyes a shade of numb I had rarely seen.

Mary had called me. She had come to check on her and bring a midday repast. Mother being too proud to ask for help, even though her legs no longer held her sturdily or long enough to cook herself a decent meal.

Appearance and stoicism were Mother’s barometers of standing.

Socially and otherwise.

Not that you’d know it from her mascaraed cheeks.

She pointed to the antique book I had gifted her the previous evening. 

I understand, therefore I’ll live,” was scribbled in the cover. “R.B. 1941

Mother pressed a notepad on me. Scribbled on it were the same words. Same letters. An older hand.

“I forgot,” she whispered, caressing her initials. “But reading what I have just written, I now believe.”

 

 

Prompt quote: “Reading what I have just written, I now believe.” (Afterward by Louise Gluck)

For the dVerse prosery challenge

 

Compliance

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(Photo: Isaac Holmgren on Unsplash)

 

When all was said and done,

There was no question

Of whether or when

Or why,

She would be expected

To abide by all

The rules they had

Intended to

Apply.

The law was set.

The outcome clear.

She was to follow

And adhere.

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille poetry challenge: abide

 

Whistling Into Wind

 

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(Photo: Janko Ferlič on Unsplash)

 

She had vowed to not come back. Ever. Not to live. For sure not that.

It did not mean she would not try to visit. Or to glimpse. To set out in a morning’s determination only to curl around via rambling roads and pause at every bridge and barn until it got too late to see a thing or she lost nerve and drove home steeped in a tired mix of relief and disappointment.

“I’ll come with you,” Elmira finally said. She placed a warm hand on the base of Anastasia’s neck, hoping to soften the tension it held whenever memories threatened flood.

Anastasia shook her head. “There is nothing behind the wall except a space where the wind whistles.”

“And yet,” Elmira kneaded gently, “the Orphanage’s whistles still tell stories. Perhaps the likes of which your soul insists ought to be heard.”

 

 

Prosery prompt: “there is nothing behind the wall except a space where the wind whistles” from “Drawings By Children” by Lisel Mueller

For the dVerse prosery challenge

 

 

Simple Pleasures

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Photo: Smadar Epshtein

 

“What does happiness mean,” she asked,

Her eyes round with the query

Of the lost

Awaiting to be

Found.

“It is the sun warming your skin,” he said,

His own eyes taking on the mist.

“And the unexpected sweetness

Of cherries on your

Tongue.”

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: Happiness

 

 

Fully Drawn

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(Photo: Al Battison on Unsplash)

 

She could not help the pull of lore

And hopes that drew on her

Heart like a magnet right into

The polar

Opposite of what

She had been raised to

Know and

Want.

For how could she possibly

Be anything but

What she

Was?

 

 

For the dVerse quadrille poetry challenge

 

 

A Matter Of Scope

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(Photo: Anna Sullivan on Unsplash)

“It was never a matter of reach, but of scope,” Morris mouthed the words around his pipe.

Ethel harrumphed under her breath, but gently. She had to take care to not move the petals or she would have to restart the lot, and there was nothing she disliked more than having to redo tediousness. Be it in business or in marriage.

“Cannot see what you find in him,” her mother had criticized her daughter’s choice of man.

“Perhaps we look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time,” her father had chuckled in knifing disapproval.

“Too long a telescope it must be,” her mother had deadpanned.

Her parents were both gone now. To the shorter end of cholera. Left Ethel and Morris the house. And a failing botany business which they were slowly but assuredly pressing into sought after art.

 

 

Prosery quote: ‘We look at him through the wrong end of the long telescope of Time’ (Hummingbird, D.H. Lawrence)

For the dVerse prosery challenge

 

Skyward

(Photo: Na’ama Yehuda)

 

They rose in steady hum of

Motors aiming to break

Clouds

And dispersed the waves upon the

Sand as life skittered

Aground.

They pointed nose into the

Sky with souls holding on well

And fast

As engines revved anew

And headed home

At last.

 

For the dVerse quadrille challenge: sky

 

Still Summer

(Photo by Sam Marx on Unsplash)

 

It seems as though you are still summer:

The leaves still green atop your trees

Waves still warm inside your eyes

Sunrise haze in your sky

Sunset late to bed

As sleep lights in

Your soft breath

Upon

Mine.

 

 

NONET prompt: “It seems as though you are still summer” (Merwin)

For dVerse poetic 9