From the archives – Nelly — Robert Ford

Nelly

We buried you on the hottest day for years.
No breeze. The cornstalks were silent,
the air seething in crowded spaces under
a sky wiped duck-egg blue at the edges.

Through the heavy substance of veteran oaks,
sycamores, gasping over the hedgerows,
you could see all the way down the lazy apron
of the river valley to our town, the thumb of

its church steeple gilt-framed by the haze.
It seemed apt. A decade later, it’s still how
I picture you – though I’m no more than an
unopened parcel of memories in your future

—a girl, each thin-ice step you take a question,
leaving behind farm, family, village, home.
A whole lifetime waiting for you down there,
waiting to gather you up into its embrace.

by Robert Ford

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, July 31, 2017

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – Magritte Serves Up the Sun — Donna Vorreyer

Magritte Serves Up the Sun
—after René Magritte’s “The Banquet” 1958. Oil on canvas. Art Institute of Chicago®. Chicago, Illinois.

We cannot see the fine linens,
the glasses of wine, the crystal.
We have been called to a feast,

but there is no food. We have
waited for hours. Then the sun
sails toward us through the trees,

a perfect orange wafer of light,
hovering now below the branches,
floating low, a silver tray waiting

to cradle its fire. We applaud.
To call the sun from the evening
sky is no small feat. A bold host

to lay such strokes, to summon
not just light but the source of light
to humble itself, to feed our darkness.

by Donna Vorreyer

from Autumn Sky Poetry Number 15, October 2009

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – After the Storm — Donna Vorreyer

After the Storm
Clouds scribbled
their white back
and forth as if you
had tried to erase
the sky, as if you
held some grudge
against the weather
or the atmosphere
or a certain shade
of blue, as if you
could command
the horizon, as if
words once spoken
could be recalled,
as if you could
erase anything,
as if the past was
not indelible, as if.

by Donna Vorreyer

from Autumn Sky Poetry Number 11, September 2008

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – You Leave in February by Donna Vorreyer

You Leave in February

March arrives with its wind
and a profusion of blossoms,
the blood-rush of asphalt
shifting from slush to slick.

I pull back the curtains, hear
the hedge scream spring, each
branch newly straight, released
from the weight of winter ice.

This quiet wakes me like
the sudden stillness of a train
whose steady sway has lulled
its passengers to sleep.

It is time to slough off the dead
skin of remembering. Crocus
beds peep, tongues singing
in their soft purple mouths.

from Autumn Sky Poetry DAILY, March 31, 2015 — by Donna Vorreyer

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

From the archives – The Editor Writes That She is Tired of the Word Drifting — Donna Vorreyer

8snowy_diagonals

The Editor Writes That She is Tired of the Word Drifting

perhaps she spends too many
winter hours watching snow
shift itself into slanted banks

or she despises the soporific
rhythm of the sea delivering
itself onto the shoreline

perhaps she imagines the eyes
of a lover wandering away, too
far from her own sad face

or maybe she hates the word
itself, the laziness of it, all
that snow and sand and love

just carried along complacent
on the wind, so delicate, so
powerless, so imprecise

from Autumn Sky Poetry 14 — by Donna Vorreyer

Photo by Christine Klocek-Lim

You Leave in February by Donna Vorreyer

You Leave in February

March arrives with its wind
and a profusion of blossoms,
the blood-rush of asphalt
shifting from slush to slick.

I pull back the curtains, hear
the hedge scream spring, each
branch newly straight, released
from the weight of winter ice.

This quiet wakes me like
the sudden stillness of a train
whose steady sway has lulled
its passengers to sleep.

It is time to slough off the dead
skin of remembering. Crocus
beds peep, tongues singing
in their soft purple mouths.

by Donna Vorreyer

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Twitter: @djvorreyer

Editor’s Note: This poem uses enjambment and imagery as allegory to gently suggest the emotional difficulty the narrator is experiencing as she tries to move past a loved one’s departure. The last three lines in particular push forward the idea of remembrance versus movement into the future.