by Linda Parsons

Seven schools in twelve years—
my childhood shifted pillar to post.
I thought only of roots, hard-fisted

anchors of ground. Bound like a Gale
to the Kansas of my backyard, the sepia
threshold held me in sway of plant deep,

stay put. But life’s passings unbound
me from native soil—father a year gone
from his last bed, marriage unspiraled

from ring finger, days in the garden
wound down. Even Dorothy wouldn’t
frown at the distance I’ve since traveled—

rocks skipped in the swift Garonne,
Deep France dappled through arbors,
how the doves’ ca-coo-coo in Auvillar

echoed the California hills. Like the lion
whose courage finally roared, I do believe
in the Pacific’s gray cyclone, wind

beaten, thrilled to the deep heart’s core.
I do believe we can shape our grief
solid as brick—or torch it like straw.

I do believe in what’s beyond
fence and yellow road. I believe
in the hourglass turned on its side,

aaaaaaaaspilling my own glorious tide.

LINDA PARSONS is a poet, playwright, and editor. She coordinates WordStream, WDVX-FM’s weekly reading/performance series, with Stellasue Lee and is the reviews editor at Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel. Her poetry has appeared widely, and Candescent is her fifth poetry collection (Iris Press, 2019). Parsons is the copy editor for Chapter 16, the literary website of Humanities Tennessee. Her latest play for Flying Anvil Theatre in Knoxville is SuffRAGE: To Give Voice, written with Jeannette Brown.

Featured Image: “twinkle toes” by Molly Sabourin