My husband Bill
is driving us north
toward a cloud-filled sky,
fully cognizant of season.
the air is no longer fortified
by Atlantic sea-salt.
With car windows open
barely a crack, we sniff both
cedar and pine. Beyond a fork
in the road, we see an old
As darkness falls,
we feel chill in the air.
Lightning flashes, thunder
booms. The moon, behind
the barn, fades to ghost-white.
Bill avoids a deer,
freeze-framed in headlights.
My Muse meets us
at the state line.
There are three of us now,
so we abandon the car.
Helena thinks I’m a visionary
who can wax poetic
whenever the need be
and vows to stay with me,
just as Bill has done
all these years.
Fallen limbs impede our gait,
and truth pushes against the grain.
Lessons from Childhood
--for Pam and Michael
Childhood brought life
for us to discover, like a garden
filled with vibrant color: red for
Paul Scarlet rose, a transplant from
Grandpa’s. Purple for iris that grew
behind the wall. White (and sometimes
pink) for clover. Green clover leaves.
Three were usual, four lucky. Yellow was
a bouquet of common dandelions. Our
mother smiled and even put the ones
we gave her with no stems in water.
The mailman whistled a catchy tune
and gave us bubble gum. The manager
of the grocery store on Gray accepted
nickels and teary-eyed apologies
for lifted candy bars. We scuffed
little shoes and proudly proclaimed
our memory verse from last Sunday:
“God is Love.”
Helen Losse is the author of six collections of poetry, including Facing a Lonely West. Her poems have been anthologized in Literary Trails of the North Carolina Piedmont, Kakalak 2014, and The Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VII: North Carolina She is an Associate Poetry Editor for Kentucky Review.