By: Claudia Ricci, Ph.D.
The crisp brown swamp grasses are glowing
in the wetland.
The grass is still green despite the
sheen of white frost this morning.
We are between autumn and winter
in that uncomfortable place
where everything is dying.
Yesterday I tore up piles of limp yellow hosta and
stiff black bee balm stems and peony and bleeding heart.
How quickly their time passed.
As I sit here, I know that all comes alive just to die.
I look longingly at photos of chubby-cheeked babies
and earlier versions of myself.
But I don’t land there except for a glance.
Don’t think for a moment I am
going to lead you down some
alley way of words.
I google breaths per day
and it says that at rest
we take in 16 breaths a minute
or 960 per hour
or 23,040 per day.
Or consider this:
thoughts per day.
Knowing all that,
I’m not going
to waste a minute
There is a dome
of blue above
me and love
in every person
I bring to mind.
And would you
that came from
garden in Bristol,
has just thrust forth
navy blue blossoms
despite the cold?
Hold that in mind
and find your heart’s
Light your eyes
on the lemon tree
six big green fruits.
and every tree
glowing in yellow
leaves. Follow a sunny
and pass the time
there all day long.
Claudia was a staff writer for The Wall Street Journal and a prize-winning reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, where one of her projects was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.
Her novels include:
- Dreaming Maples, published in 2002, and nominated for a Pushcart Prize
- Seeing Red, January 2011
- Sister Mysteries, July 2018
Her short fiction has appeared in numerous literary magazines nationwide.
Ricci spent 15 years teaching English and journalism at the University at Albany and was a visiting professor for one year at Georgetown University.
To order her novels, visit her website at www.claudiajricci.com
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