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You Are Meant to Be Like Fire


Poems Appearing in Online Journals:


in Saint Katherine Review:

Summer Eclipse



in Clarion Journal:

What's Beneath the Surface

The Taste of the Wind






I stand, washing dishes and feeling the years

gurgling as they circumnavigate the drain;

the present gapes from the center, noisily sucks up my life.


Outside, behind a screen of saplings,

a deer walks gingerly at the edge of the wood,

stops, and sniffs the air;


a black crow perches on the branch of a tree

whose crabapples glisten like rubies; he calls

to his cronies who, fluttering black, cluster among the limbs.


And I am here.

I fling open the door, traipse through the dewy grass,

my socks wet and a damp wind slipping beneath my collar.


Why do I stay? It has to do with the way

weather comes in waves: first, sunlight bathes the hills

like laughter, the autumn trees shine golden light,


and the dew on the grass sparkles; then purple clouds

glide across the sky sprinkling rain. Minutes later,

hail patters the ground and there are a few wet flakes of snow.


Suddenly the clouds are gone, the sky is blue,

but you can see the hail still slashing the valley

and the rippling of the storm over the landscape.

                                                               Sheila Murray‑Nellis

                                         from You Are Meant to Be Like Fire


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