|T.L. Stokes lives on a two acre alpaca farm with two chickens, three alpacas, one cat and two dogs. It's a lucky hill the English cottage sits on, avoiding this year's flood of the valley. When not writing, the Pacific Northwest author specializes in injury treatment as a massage practitioner. Previously published in Ancient Wind Press, Comrades Press, Ludlow Press, The Gin Bender Review, Pierian Springs, The 2River View, Stirring - A Literary Magazine, Circle Magazine, Words on Walls, in Snow Monkey by Ravena Press, and by Compassionately Stoneground Books.
The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by T.L. Stokes and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
The Locksmith's apprentice
lives in the house of nuns
across from the massive cathedral
glowing spire stuck
She is the crow on the branch
outside the Tai Chi master's window,
laughing, having witty conversations
when no one is looking.
She plays in the orchard
at Good Samaritan at night with stars
while he looks through
She sits in the chapel
on the old wood floor
unfolding crow wings in the musty air,
watching him pray
wanting to collect
the glass beads
from his eyes.
Diane Elayne Dees
|Diane Elayne Dees is a psychotherapist and writer in Covington, Louisiana. Diane publishes Women Who Serve, a blog about women's professional tennis. She is the winner of the The Binnacle's 2008 Editor's Prize for Poetry, and she recently placed second in the 2008 California-based Janice Farrell Poetry Prize competition.
Read her blog here: http://womenwhoserve.blogspot.com
The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Diane Elayne Dees and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.
I think of them from time to time--
the young couple sweating under the arbor
at the old hotel near the corn fields,
the wedding march pumping out
of a boombox on a Saturday afternoon.
Uninvited guests, we looked out
our window at the ceremony--a break
from watching endless images
of New Orleans under water,
people stranded on rooftops,
pets tossed into the street
before the bus to nowhere takes off.
The groom, handsome in dreadlocks
and a smart beige suit, follows
the bride to the altar. She carries
a bouquet of white and gold,
to match her gown. It is their first
day...we do not know what day it is.
The woman with matching anklets,
too-perfect makeup and every hair lacquered
in place sashays into the ornate lobby,
delivers orders to men who stare
into space, and children who are too afraid
to ask questions. The woman who had to leave
her disabled horse to die drinks coffee alone;
the woman whose husband is dying
smiles at me as I take my camera
and leave for a glimpse of the festivities.
A scum-filled pond divides the wedding party
from us, the evacuees suddenly descended
on a town that was minding its own business.
In the garden, a lone eggplant dangles
from its stalk like the last ravaged traffic light
on Canal Street. A silver limousine waits
for the bridal pair, while we scoop ice
from an ancient cooler, watch the news
when we can bear to, and wonder
what awaits us at home--
if home exists at all.
Three years later, I think of them--
dressed in their finest, the bride's
portraits propped against the gazebo
and surrounded by white calla lilies.
Everything perfect, everything in place,
just as they left it, before the big day.