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shadow of death on a sidewalk (poem)


i took a turn under a luncheon sun

for the unfurling of bearded iris flags,

billows of color unwound from pencil-thin buds,

petal-splashes of purple, violet, blue, and cream

that I floated and then puddled into mud

on flimsy pages of watercolor pads—

in a class of middling women trying to find themselves

in the loose spill of wine and words and stains

they fancied as Cotswold cottage gardens,

heady masterworks to lavish on laundry-room walls.

an erect bed-edge iris took an early fall,

death by a rude shoe or carelessly tossed ball;

I stood over this rainbow rider, now dirt-bound

and brick-baked, with royally tinged frills

shriveling into common bruises and

yellowing like the nicotine fingers of

my painting teacher who tapped his cigarette pack

under the desk while we giggled over

days of wine, roses, and landscapes gone amuck.

the iris cast a hard-headed silhouette,

with a gaping ruffle—

jaw-jutted open, in the moment of no air.

Smooth: rarely does it happen.

Categories: Musings Poetry

Tagged as:

Catherine Hamrick

Soul deep storyteller, poet, copywriter, and editor with a passion for wordplay, gardens and literature

8 replies

  1. ” . . . in the moment of no air.” I kneel before you, Catherine. You have created like a god.

    Your probable answer: “Oh, get up, you goofball.” Still, I bow. Il miglior fabbro.

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