Lake Effect

November Snow

 Some meteorologist attributes your arrival to a shifting front, propelled by lake effect. The announcement streams with inches--maybe feet--of anticipation.  And now, adrenaline or hope has me preparing a list for your unscheduled call.   But you are fickle.  How many times have I been left standing at the altar?  Perhaps it’s my penitence for not culling the time you gave me.

Tonight, you will come while I am adrift in dreams, stilled and cocooned in heavy blankets.  You'll arrive dancing, whirling your powdered skirt and dressing the pines in a petticoat of their own.  The branches, like sinners, will reach out for a blessing and the dirty and discarded will be made beautiful by your touch.  

I wake when the moon chimes. In deference,  dawn bows her head, allowing this frozen Polaroid to slowly materialize through my window. As indigo fades to sapphire and shadows etch to lines,  I settle into your arms, comforted by the warmth.  

~Annette Smitley 

Water in the Inflexible World


In the strict subject of water 
Mostly it is blue flowing through cracks. 
But it can also be turquoise like the pool at Caesar's Palace. 
Or the hard steel grey of winter. 
You tell me to write beyond the literal sense 
But I am blocked. 
My mind is choppy, 
A rough sea hitting the break wall of memory. 

 In the end you can sit in the hospital 
Day after day 
Meditating on the words Hill-Rom, 
Watching the IV's drip away, 
Knowing that will never be enough 
Water to save him. 
We seek water 
Blue like the Pacific Ocean. 
Late in the day 
The girls come down from Pepperdine to surf. 
They are ordinary but made of magic. 
Small feet dance up and down the board 
As they balance on the edge of a wave 
And catch momentum without falling 
Into the rip currents that can drag you out to sea. 

~Rhonda Rasmussen