Melancholy Moment

Written in Crestwood, Kentucky, 2012 at Green River Writers Retreat

Photo by Andrew Neel on

On that turbulent morning

Frost met Fog in Winter Ghost Wonderland.

They rose and swirled together

until Sister Sun parted those icy lovers

with yellow knife fingers

bathing them in warm rays

of golden hair.

Their dance over

their mingling done

Frost melted away

like ice on a country stove.

Fog came unglued


spreading until invisible.

I heard Kate’s voice

rich, deep as oak tree roots

singing of a homeplace

singing of coyotes at the door.

I smelled coffee

Grandpa’s kind

dark and strong

enough to stand a spoon in.

I thought of where I write

of grass by the pond

simple grass, tall grass

of juniper trees and their smell.

How they welcome me

even in winter and I wanted—

I wanted to go home again

to be with those who love me

to hear baby laughter

to see Rachel with a katydid jar

to hear little boy giggles

to feel slick Christmas paper

between my fingers

and to hear Daddy say,

“Sis, come on in here.

Let me tell you something.”