★ ★ ★ ★
Image by Tom Barrett
Here we are, brief sharers of a square
patch of city sidewalk. Dappled shadows spread
a rare beauty on the torn bluestone
with its concrete Band-Aids,
but our passing feet, sandal-shod, already scatter
summer’s leavings, newly shed.
East-bound and west, a handspan parting us,
I chance at least an answering nod.
Did your mother, reaching long ago
for ways to shield you from life’s dangers,
teach you that unyielding forward stare?
Listen, I’m no Ancient Mariner, buttonholing strangers
with my sorry plight. I have tasks to do. I’m not asking you
for twenty minutes to expound my woes.
Only soon, those green gingko leaves above our heads
will coat our soles with perfect yellow fans, brighter
with portent than canaries in a pit. With that in mind,
how can I do otherwise than cleave to my mother’s
sentiment, which went: Here we are, sharing
this small square of planet Earth. What delight.
Ceri Eagling grew up in Wales, lived six years in France and is a long-time resident of the United States. Her writing reflects each of these influences. Her poetry has been published in Antiphon, Allegro Poetry Magazine, Verse-Virtual, and Riggwelter. Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared elsewhere.