Light

beach
wading
overcast
pearl clouds, pale sand
we gleam in the soft light on still water.

Copyright Kay Winter

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Mountains

At the end of
the long street,
against the
the slope of the hill,
the cloud bank
shifts
like an ancient
mountain.

Copyright Kay Winter

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In Deep

In the days
unminded and alone
in the corner room
at the quiet edge of the house
during the gray holidays
I fell into words
and through the words
into worlds
distant from my own.

In the days
unheeded and free
by the winter window
I wandered into worlds
of dusk and mystery
and traveled with magic.

Copyright Kay Winter

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Blue Musette

Cobalt
dish of sky curve
twilight

bridge end
club doors open
to send

Jazz sax
halting piano
blues tracks

Copyright Kay Winter

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Did Not Tell

She didn’t tell anyone
before she went upstairs
for the last time
leaving her corsage
in the kitchen
trash.

He didn’t tell anyone
before quitting the team
and walking home the long way
skirting town
leaving the stained shirt
in a ditch with his
sick.

What they didn’t know
is that the dark box
waits
for the light
to empty it.

Copyright Kay Winter

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Window Open

I left the window open
for the silence of the night
to flow in
and set my boat adrift
from the day.

Copyright Kay Winter

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Strong

Strong medicine
we called it
that sophomore year
when we’d loll on Friday nights
amid the smoke
and I’d reach out
my hand to you
later in the dark
and say
Terence this is stupid stuff
and you’d say
Terence I have reached the wasteland
and our laughter went deep into
our hearts.

And that love was strong,
but not as strong
as you and me a few years later
and the stubble on your chin
on those cold mornings
and me exhausted
and you would
bring me my oatmeal
and I would bring you your coffee.

And somehow we got the rent
and the car to start
and an old sofa to sit on
and even a tiny ragged tree
at Christmas
to tie ribbons on.

Copyright Kay Winter

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Wide Awake

Working the day cramp out of my elbows
I shake it rattle it roll it roll with it
Dragging my voice across the disappearing pavement
Engine hum on a night drive

Asking questions of the radio music
Why baby why sugar uh uh uh
Ache in the ribs for travel and twist again
Keen and crying out to the road, the dashboard lights
Expelling dust exhaust into the wide distant night

Answering to nothing but the radio
Negligent of weariness
Driving from nowhere to somewhere

Driving past the signs signs signs everywhere
Alive at last, it feels like
Nine on a scale of none
Clutch out, peeling the pavement
Inside is only me and the dashboard radio
Never stop don’t stop the dance
Give it up to thrash Rhonda help me yeah.

Copyright Kay Winter

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The Open Door

This late day
of Fall sun
ran away from
a bank of gray clouds.

I stand in
the back yard
in the bitter-smelling mums
and see the door
forgotten, open.

And then her hand
shutting it quickly
against the swift cold rain.

Copyright Kay Winter

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It Was Coming

Thank God I didn’t see it was coming
or I would have changed direction
and I shouldn’t have
and I am glad I didn’t.
Thank God I didn’t see.

It was coming
down the long road
of November
Your theft of me.
Your leaving of me.
Your stunning of me.
On a winter street
on an empty Sunday
it was coming.

Down the long road
of empty Sundays
went I playing.
Sweet as my own soft voice.
Sweet as a single violin.
Sweet as a single horn.
Playing in an empty room.

Went I playing
raining and laughing years later.
I didn’t see it was coming.
You in the open doorway.
You shaking the water off.
You in front of me
With the mean asking.
And went I on playing
into the fierce night
out the open door
to the long road
to my own home
over the bridge
over the thawing bog
to the coming of the Spring.

Copyright Kay Winter

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