Tag Archives: friendship


Touch some part of me
while we wait for my soul
to be taken and crushed
like petals for scent.

I will neither enter
nor leave the room again.

Each moment
is a snowflake transforming
into a waterdrop
on a green leaf.

The border to the next land
is invisible to the naked eye
music is the only map.

I have walked away
without a word of goodbye.

You must stay on
counting the barks of distant dogs
and the songs of the souls
needing bodies.

Copyright Kay Winter

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Gather and Leave

We gather and leave
before dawn
to drive south
to a friend
who needs us.

I drowse in the back seat
my head against the cool window
still beaded with dew
and my mind wanders
with the songs on the radio.
Carole King comes on
and we sing together
about being down
and troubled
and having friends.

I think of the friendship
you and I tried to have.
And how you never would have
come to me like this
and how we had no song.

But that’s not true,
there was one about a green bird,
I had almost forgotten.
But that’s not true
I tried to forget it.
Like I tried to forget
all those nights
smoking on the patio
and waiting
for the disappointment
to go away.

We stop at a rest stop
along the still-misted river.
As I walk through the dim light
to the bathroom,
I notice that people
are sleeping
in the parked campers.

I pause
and hum a bit of song
for them,
a bit about a green bird
that flew away.

We settle back into the car
with the smell of vending machine coffee.

We get back on our way
south along the blue river
to the friend who needs us
and we sing different songs.

As I sing,
and sip terrible coffee,
I see these friends
and I think,
these I’ll keep.

– Copyright Kay Winter

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Forgive my stumblings
through the landscape of your stony heart.
Forgive my taking a secret road now,
different than the way I came
(ill-compassed, crevassed, misturning).
Having arrived at the gate,
I found it closed
and my key
no longer turning.

Copyright Kay Winter

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Plum Summer (Republished)

What did we do, that summer?
Aside from live on plums and canned corn?
We read Dylan Thomas.
You had red shoes.
I had a thrift store bowling jacket, pink and black.
We cut our hair short.
I thought I was in love.
You thought you were heartbroken.
It was all new.

We saw that movie 17 and a half times.
What was it?
The funny one with the dead man and the boat.
One day we fell asleep at the matinee
And missed our bus.

The plums appear every summer
And I try to remember,
As I drop them into the paper bag,
That what we have is less important
Than what we discover.

Copyright Kay Winter

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Secret City

It’s been harder to breathe
for at least a week.


We have been climbing since
before today was a day,
breaking our scant camp in the dark.
(We are down to a single blanket).


We are lost
but for the guides
who walk ahead of us
whose voices drift back
through the mist
that burnt off
and reformed as clouds.


The guides murmur to each other
but have taught us only
and walk


Walk they repeat in their soft voices.




We cannot see them
on the trail ahead.


I hear my breath
and my heart pounding,
A pebble scatters down the mountainside



We’ve been lost for weeks,
or more.
We’ve lost track.
We no longer care.


Exhausted with pain.
All other senses gone.


I am too tired to remember
how we started this.


We were lost.
We argued.
We wandered.
And then we grew too tired to argue.


It would not get us home.
It would not save our lives.
It would not tell us which path.
It would not so much as fill the tin cup with water from the stream.


That is when the trip changed
without our trying to change it.


And then,
(was it the third day?)
the guides came.
We were well up the mountainside.


they said

And so we followed
from that time until this time.


Now we climb,
one behind the other,
watching our footfalls
on the narrow path.


A cold thin wind blows a break in the clouds.


You stop.


I stop.


The guides fall silent.


All is still,


but for the wind and our breathing.


In the still-shrouded break,
we see, or think we see,
the steps
to a secret and ancient city.

Copyright Kay Winter

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Mountain peaks drift
away from earthroots
shimmerveiled seasurfaces
await, indifferent to any sailing.

Shadowed islands
(as unmapped as you and I are)
wait for us to cast our tentative bodies
away from unseen ships.
Crusoe hearts
seeking shore.

– Kay Winter

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If Ever

I know that your eyes
will be filled with light
If ever I chance to see them.

I know your breath will be
fragrant as each bit of earth
you have tasted
If ever our breath shall mingle.

I know your quiet
will be as calm as rain.

Your rest,
as gentle as snowfall.

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To Dream

Tonight I think I will dream
of being in an old room
one we both will remember
from our separate childhoods.

The snow will fall
And you and I will
sit on the sofa
by the large window
and watch it fall,
quiet as our breathing.

Will it be me who takes your hand
or you who takes mine?

“No matter,”
will say the quiet friendship
of the snowfall.

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Ice Road – First published October 2012

I’m walking the ice road tonight
To the center of the frozen lake
You come too
Out of your dark sleep
And rambling brown dreams
We’ll have no need for light other
Than the rising moon
No words but our soft clouds of breath

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Don’t think I don’t see
that you pull your masks
from the battered trunk of your soul.

I do, too.
And I know you see mine.
I put them on,
as gifts.

Look, I say, this one has a piece of pain
still stuck at the edge of the smile.
You let one mask fall,
and another show.
a crooked smile on yours, too.

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