It was done in silence.
No one quite sure
what went down.
Black wings swoop
down from wintry
sky. The train
moans in the
elegy for the
with the wind.
Who's that Blonde in the Mirror?
Whoever she is, she looks a lot like her father
with the thin lips and worry-crease lines
between her brow.
Whoever she is, she leaves home and drives
to the nature center for a 10:30 nature
walk. Where is the leader? The tall man
with the beard? It is not unthinkable he
has turned into a strutting wild turkey
or a proud antlered deer, rubbing his
itching antlers on some unprotected
bark of tree.
"I'm Ruth," she says to a short
slightly bent-over woman with
fire in her eyes. Judy doesn't
notice the resemblance to Ruth's
father, who pre-deceased her
as phrased in the obituary ads.
Judy knows her way around the
park. Where the trails split off
like a wishbone, she chooses
the one to the left. Wherever
thou goest, Judith!
They stop by the banks of
the rushing creek, stop to
hear the splash of the waters
upon the rocks, timeless as
a ray of sun.
Then they hear it. Squawking
that takes over the air.
Geese, Canada geese, come
down from Ontario,
Quebec, Nova Scotia, to
their summer home. What
a view: rushing waters,
huge boulders, tiny bullfrogs
with bulging eyes--and oh
the sounds the geese hear.
Birds of every variety--the cow bird,
the cuckoo, the scarlet tanager in
its bright Red Riding Hood
The two short women
one in Keds, the other in
hiking boots, are drawn
to the three-tiered wood fence
by the warlike sounds,
the raving bellicosity,
This early spring day
dawning with daffodils and
lesser celandine, the geese
play out the millennia-old
The whole world turns
upon who mounts whom.
We look up at the sky
and soldier on.
The Miracle of the Cyclamen
You, darling, whose name I can never remember,
you, darling, whose green heart-shaped
leaves are every bit as
lovely as your upturned faces,
Your species, like ours, has drifted from
the Mediterranean over the Atlantic
to be sold for a pittance at the grocery store.
I buy you as a gift for others. As I was
leaving the store, you called out from your
table. I heard you as I approached my car.
You reside now with me.
At home you delight me in the kitchen as
I sip my coffee, you dappled blossoms
a satiny blend of purples--I love you
with my eyes, with the gentle water
I pour over you, and touching your
queenly faces, cold to the touch
these wintry morns.
If all goes well, you tubers should
live a long while. Mayhap till the end of
This is why you greet me first
thing every morning. Beauty,
like God, has a way of reaching
our inner spirit we're unaware of
and floating us onward
'til the end of our days.
Ruth Z Deming is a psychotherapist and mental health advocate, has had her poetry published in lit mags including Mad Swirl, Leaves of Ink, and Haunted Waters Press. She is founder/director of New Directions Support Group for people and families affected by mental illness. See www.newdirectionssupport.org. She runs a weekly writing group--the Coffeeshop Writers--at a local cafe. She lives in Willow Grove, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia.