After a late January storm, no sun, no shadows. The sky still
its own field of sorrow. Whatever we felt before, we feel
again. We never cross the horizon’s thin blade, its line
faint as our breath.
Egg white ribbons cloak each gray cottonwood limb,
each field framing fence post. Ice glints on barbed wire prongs.
A limestone memorial adorned with a sleeping lamb
is inscribed Safe in Heaven. Yet, some eighty years ago,
mother and child both passed, died together and
together were laid beneath this snowy prairie sod.
Picture an anxious woman standing on a beach in Wales.
The tide boils up, sluices over her shoes,
the wind-blown spray ices over her apron and cheeks.
She doesn’t yet know the news from a letter already at sea.
One night, a candle flickered on the bedroom ceiling.
Let’s go to sleep, you said. It’s been a long day.
Oh yes, oh yes, but first let’s read the future
in our baby daughter’s blue-veined wrist,
let’s watch her eyelids flutter in sleep,
we need to find strength in the peaceful
strong bow of her lips.
Diane Hueter is a Seattle native now living in Lubbock, Texas, a quiet and subtle landscape. Her poetry has appeared in The Carolina Quarterly, Nelle, and SWWIM. Her book After the Tornado appeared in 2013. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize.
Header photo by Dudarev Mikhail, courtesy Shutterstock.