Switched-on Gutenberg Issue 20
The Weather Letters
The day after her passing, we found
them like yesterday’s rain: in
drawers and piled on shelves,
stuck between magazine pages and in among
     bills: those with postmarks and the ones
she never answered

All from a single friend, faithful to the day,
as anonymous as memory is named.

Today in the breeze we smelled sweet peas
from the porch
Out planting hillocks of squash. Saw clouds in a
line like white boxcars
Dust devils in the fallow field. Reminded me of the old
dog chasing his flea-bitten tail

She slept that way, with a page curled
in her lap, pen fallen
     to the floor.

How she used to tell us the wind never
lies although it changes its mind
how only weather matters when years walk
     backwards with no address.

Last night we had one of those orange harvest
sunsets. Canned 20 quarts of peaches
No rain yet but I see gray streaks over southern
hills. It must be pouring in Centerville
Today in my slippers as I walked to the mailbox
     first frost crackled my footsteps

Copyright 2014,  Joanne M. Clarkson

Joanne M. Clarkson’s fourth poetry collection, Believing the Body, was published this spring by Gribble Press. Her poems have appeared recently in Nimrod, The Midwest Quarterly and Not Somewhere Else But Here: A Contemporary Anthology of Women and Place. Clarkson has a Master’s Degree in English and has taught but currently works as a Registered Nurse specializing in Hospice and Community Nursing.

Background Photo: Big Sky Copyright 2014,  Loretta Oleck

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