Poem by Sherry O'Keefe
Photo by Jill Burhans

When to Speak of Bridges, When to Speak of Getting Old

She wears the old blue shirt, scrubbed the night
before. On her knees along the water's edge,
knuckles against the fabric. In last week’s dream

she felled a tree across the creek, using a simple
hatchet. Bridges are a promise to return. Perhaps
this is what she’ll tell them as they hike—mother,

son and daughter—below the sanded cliffs,
smoothed and hardened into rock
centuries before they hear the wounded sound

of a deer crashing down through thickets
of willow-whips, milkweed and barren red
chokecherry. Son steps toward

the cry, daughter hides behind her. Now is not
the time to leave them, their mother learns.
Only one is ready. 

Back        •        Home        •        Next