Writers-in-Residence Excerpts of Work

The Stone Reader
(for Mary Maddison)

She holds the colors of time in her hands:
Red jasper for strength, blue agate for peace.
Her face is a map to a place beyond earth.
She closes her eyes to hear voices speak.

The red ray is strength; the blue ray is peace.
Through her window, I see four islands of mist.
She closes her eyes to hear voices speak.
Her sleeping cat’s fur is the colors of earth.

Through her window, I see four islands of mist.
My father, she says, is telling regrets.
The cat’s sleep is deep as he purrs to himself.
A wild child, my father held sadness within.

My father has come to confess his regrets:
He knows his dark anger turned back on itself.
A wild child, my father held sadness within.
His eyes were the color of agate and mist.

My father’s dark anger turned back on itself.
She says he has crossed a wide sea to be here.
His eyes were the color of agate and mist.
The cat’s sleep is deep as the colors of earth.

She says he has crossed a wide sea to be here.
Her face is a map to a place beyond earth.
Now sadness is lifting, as mist in the bay.
She holds the colors of time in her hands.

Barbara J. McGrath
Hobbs, New Mexico, USA

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