Avoid

I’ll take the long corner
down the unmarked lane
to a long wait on a hard left.

I’ll take the overgrown path
through the forgotten garden
with the red vines hiding the gates.

I’ll move away from the center
and walk slowly 
around the hill
toward the distant fields. 

I’ll be too far away
to hear the
church
bell
toll.

-	Copyright Kay Winter
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Detoured

A glimpse of the river
Slashes of rain
A Wednesday evening
Unexpected, but not unwelcome delays
Hapless, detoured
This part of town unknown
A longer view of the river
Steady and gray
Golden leaves falling
A sense of autumn
-	Copyright Kay Winter
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Boundless

I fell asleep
on the train to Chicago
and slept
for years.

I came home later
into the green light
of my mother’s kitchen.

And she looked at me
the way you don’t recognize
a song at first.

And then remember
how you used to dance
with your face turned up
and your arms
akimbo.

-	Copyright Kay Winter
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Turning

The third night at sea,
we saw the last light fall
after the earth’s final turn.
Bright and brilliant embers
over arcing edge. 

We are left
in the side of darkness.

Only the infinite stars
and one moon
to guide our ship.

-	Copyright Kay Winter
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Now magic

Now magic
the stones 
tell stories of invisible oceans
flowing above us

Now magic
the last gold
sun tells stories
of your breath
caught

Now magic
the moon rises
and comes down
to your bidding

Now magic
The whispering lights
Say come here
here.

-	Copyright Kay Winter
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Unexpected acrostic

Unleash uncovered umbrage
Nail nonesuch nights
Expel energy evermore
Xray expended effort
Perturb past passion
Expect egregious events
Carry caustic castles
Terrify trapped totality
Eject elemental energy
Digress deathly devotion
-	Copyright Kay Winter
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Courage

The stone inside you
sinks deeper inside
but still
you carve the
invisible door
a little more each day.

Until one secret night
you are walking
through it.

Each step burning.

And certain.

  • copyright Kay Winter

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Guilt

For not living by the sea
in a cold stone house

For not shutting the shutters
For not shutting the windows
For not shutting the doors

For not turning the locks
For not throwing the bolts
For not losing the keys

For  pulling the one thread loose
That let me unravel.

-	Copyright Kay Winter
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Enough

I stand one last time in the doorway
Of the empty apartment
I’m hot, even with the rain outside

The summer
Caught me.
And then let me go.

The windows are shut over the torn screens.
The space is dim, hollow
I remember the first winter here
My old red hat drying on the radiator
Sleeping in socks
Leaning out the window into the first snow

The summer caught me 
And then let me go.

I remember the spring here
Shouting down to you in the chill dusk
The lilacs drifting in 
I’ll be down soon, soon, pretty soon.

The summer caught me
And then let me go.
-	Copyright Kay Winter
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Oracle

The afternoon sunlight changing from lemon
to gold around the corner
under the chokecherry.
The moon’s arc over the city lights
The clouds blowing in from the west.

A dampness
A chill
A gurgle
A rustle
The impossible high arc of the snow geese

One small russet leaf, falling
Not far
-	Copyright Kay Winter
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