Carol Purington



                                                                  As if the cobalt
                                                                  of a frozen sky could quench
                                                                  this color thirst
                                                                  the talk shades from light to dark
                                                                  the knitting needles click


                                                                  From the next room
                                                                  the loud voice of a neighbor
                                                                  who wants to cut our trees
                                                                  sunlight on the curves of winter pears
                                                                  heaped in a maple bowl

                                                                  A haze of new leaves
                                                                  so gradual the change
                                                                  I almost missed it
                                                                  his voice skitters down the scale
                                                                  in adolescent laughter


                                                                  Cold white world
                                                                  but a red squirrel colors
                                                                  a quick path
                                                                  to the bird feeder
                                                                  and the sun sets later each day


                                                                  Those love poems
                                                                  I wrote to you
                                                                  they never fit
                                                                  I never sent them
                                                                  you never threw them away


                                                                  Sweet-faced kittens
                                                                  on the birth announcement
                                                                  in pink lettering
                                                                  the name I would have given
                                                                  the daughter I do not have

                                                                  Her sharp knife quick
                                                                  to peel, core, slice the red apple
                                                                  we talk of childhood fears
                                                                  how I blocked my ears
                                                                  against the fairy tale


                                                                  Autumn thunder
                                                                  those books about midlife crisis
                                                                  I didn't read them
                                                                  confident that my October
                                                                  would arrive serene with blue skies


                                                                  Now and then a glimpse
                                                                  on a dutiful postcard
                                                                  snow-capped mountains
                                                                  shining with the brightness
                                                                  of the face of God


                                                                  Clouds come and go
                                                                  shadows follow them or stayŚ
                                                                  the cool introspection
                                                                  of a day when needed rain
                                                                  doesn't fall


                                                                  Absurd to doubt
                                                                  letting my day be shadowed
                                                                  by a novel's gloom
                                                                  as if a neighbor's tree
                                                                  had dropped an earlier twilight


                                                                  After heavy rain
                                                                  enough puddles on my path
                                                                  to flash back at me
                                                                  all the faces
                                                                  I might choose to wear today

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