Bio Note: After 25 years as a computer programmer/analyst, I retired to write full-time. I enjoy photography and visiting museums, cemeteries, historic towns, gardens, forests, and bodies of water. I’ve lived in Northern Kentucky all my life, never farther than 17 miles from Cincinnati where I crossed the Ohio River to work. I’m author of three poetry collections from Dos Madres Press: Swim Your Way Back (2014), A Map and One Year (2018), and Where Wind Tastes Like Pears (2021).
When You Need a Blessing
Early fall, home from lunch with a friend in crisis, I listen to voicemails— a relative soon to pass. My eyes fall on the purple petunia hung from the patio, once pinched to a perfect globe, now lapsed leggy, only a few flowers. For weeks, I wanted to lop it level with the dirt, force new growth, or thud it into the trash. Every time I passed, I hoped for a frost to lay the spindly stems, shriveled leaves to rest. I catch a flutter of green sheen—a ruby-throated hummingbird hovers, plummets, tongues each trumpet. Through the window ajar the whir of wings beats invisible, thrums my chest, whispers while it gorges ample nectar to cross the Gulf.
At my uncle's farm
belly down on the wood dock, we gaze into the pond’s shallow edge, watch tiny tadpoles wiggle, jettison, jerk, cloud the water when they land on the mud bottom. I think them baby fish, not the larva stage of frogs, unaware they’ll grow legs, absorb their tails. If sunny, their shadows enchant, confuse. Which is real, which merely a mirror?
©2021 Karen George
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