Bio Note: I am a visual artist currently masquerading as a poet. In 2021, I was shortlisted for Ireland’s Fish Anthology Poetry Prize and I was hooked. Since then published credits are dripping in slowly–enough to keep me going. Communicating and sharing with like-minded writers may just be the life vest I need to continue writing.
Growing up in a town with few trees, my favorite place was the cemetery, because it had them—cottonwoods, tall and mature, forming a rare canopy covering caliche paths and gray headstones all enclosed by an equally gray, knee-high, cinderblock barrier. Only a short fence was needed since vandalism had yet to arrive in the region. Too much work to be done where there was more oil than water and what precious water there was was lavished on the small cottonwood forest living to cover the dead—mute voices that no longer told me what to do with the rest of my life or scolded me into a guilty corner. I spent a summer there, protected from the heat in the shade of trees, among quiet people I no longer feared. I think I was ten years old.
The Music of Breakfast
I never realized how noisy my husband can be as I listen, from another part of the house, to him devouring an early bowl of raisin bran. The gurgling and dripping of slurping milk joins a steady clink clink of cold metal on cold ceramic creating a musical rhythm like an old folk dance, tempo increasing with dwindling high-fiber flakes, reaching a crescendo of one loud clank! —spoon dropped into empty bowl, the lone sound of his popping jaw now winding down the grind of morning song.
©2022 Barbara Tyler
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