A Hundred Gourds 4:2 March 2015

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Mary Jo Balistreri - USA

At Saylesville Pond

Just as we take the train to get to Tarascon or Rouen,
we take death to reach a star.

Vincent Van Gogh     

The poignancy of this spring morning falls heavy as I replay the doctor’s words: This is the last trip she will take. I sit on the iron bench by the pond—frozen with the thought of her dying, living with her absence.

water over stone
the splash of a carp
caught in the sun

Along the reedy fringes of the marsh, dragonflies hover over dankness to mate. One darts forward, then back, spirals down only to be towed upward by a male, a path difficult to follow. My eyes rest on the aluminum boat anchored to the dock; quiet seeping into me like medicine. A glint of orange flits around the milkweed. A breeze brushes my shoulder, startles me with its breath and I wonder if it really does take death to reach a star.

oars stilled . . .
a raven’s hoarse "scree"
scratches the air

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