To be old in the time of disease is to be angry for the crushed wren on the sidewalk; for the resurrection lily, its stem bent by the storm; for school children who carry their nightmares in backpacks; for the dead tree in my yard waiting to disintegrate; to be angry at liars who ignore courts and recounts; for hungry families without three full meals; for women with more babies and less choice. I wait for hours of music to wrap me, tickle my ears, awaken my soul; for raucous evenings, family and friends surrounding our table laden with steamed shrimp and gratitude. I stay grumpy knowing forever reads of poems, and stories must end. I already miss coffee mornings, the sun peeking over the river. My afternoon steps lengthen, looping around Perrin Pond or the grave Gulf gathering my secrets. I fear the absence of evenings comforted by dark chocolate nibbles. I mourn the hour when my beloved will disappear into the abyss without me.
Lennie Hay is a 2019 MFA graduate of Spalding University. She grew up in the Midwest between two cultures—Chinese immigrants and Ukrainian German farmers. A former educator, she lived in Louisville for nearly 50 years and now lives on the water in Southern Indiana and in Florida drawing energy from the natural world, visual art, her family’s history, and music. Lennie has been published in journals such as Literary Accents, Heartland Review, the Shanghai Literary Review, as well as others, and in an anthology, The Boom Project.
White Bark River Gum
Jane Turner Goldsmith is an Australian author of the novel Poinciana and short stories published in literary journals in Australia (“Smoke Road” in Overland) and the US (Beyond The Line collection in Wordrunner eChapbooks). In her photography she attempts to capture both the noticed and unnoticed beauty around us.