After your husband died
you left the burners on
to warm yourself
waking and inhaling smoke.
The burnt-down house sat condemned for a year,
And you cleaned it,
Wearing a hospital mask and gloves.
you wandered in your car
down undulating roads
to a field where two horses swished tails,
The roan with the white star let you pet her,
but the Appaloosa, who you nicknamed Tommy,
ate raw carrots from your hands.
It brought you peace, you said,
to be feeding horses.
For miles pines, oaks, maples, poplars ran.
The little enclosure where you stood
was capped by the roaring summer sky.
A child again,
you could play,
feel only from a distance
the urgency to mourn.
Linda Benninghoff: I am published in The London Times Online and Agenda, among other journals. I have published two chapbooks and translated The Seafarer from Anglo-Saxon.
Stu Hatton Linda Benninghoff Danielle Adair Mary Kasimor Bobbi Lurie Tim Martin David McFadden Gertrude Halstead Bruce Stater Patrick Mc Manus