Sunday, March 10, 2019

Study in Red by John Hicks

          Lauritzen Gardens
          Omaha, Nebraska

Looking up from my book, two women are sailing
side-by-side across the terrace, gray hair
visored back, red Nebraska sweatshirts pushed
to their elbows. Their forearms pump them along.
I’m reading how landscape directs interest.

Autumn crisp, this morning’s response to summer,
turns their talk cheek pink. A flagstone path
has taken them; its course flowing between walls
of limestone blocks straining to hold back the froth
of bee balm and lantana beds encircling flames
of sugar maples. So much in the moment,

unconsciously they fall into step, movements
so sympathetic I think them sisters. A cardinal
splashes pussy willow branches to their left.
The taller sister shortens sail;
turns into the wind.

John Hicks is an emerging poet: has been published or accepted for publication by: Valparaiso Poetry Review, I-70 Review, Ekphrastic Review, Glint Literary Journal, Midnight Circus, Panorama, Mojave River Review, and others. He writes in the thin mountain air of northern New Mexico.

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