Judith Waller Carroll 


All Souls’ Day

Last night I dreamed of a steepled
church with cherry wood pews
and my mother beside me, auburn-haired
and singing, a ribbon of sunlight
through the stained glass window
tinting us both in a glow of amber.
Now it is morning, no sun,
but what does the darkness matter
when the black and white cat
with the luminous eyes
lies stretched on the rug,
one paw reaching toward my foot,
the other curled like a baby’s fist.
When the row of golden poplars
at the far edge of the yard
radiates light like a phantom sunrise.

From What You Saw and Still Remember

 

 

 


Revival

This quiet bench outside the front door
is the refuge of calm
I’ve been craving all week,
a cup of mint tea warming my hands,
a slope of sun arcing through the ferns.
There are as many ways to pray
as there are prayers to be said.

A spiral of wind spins past the porch
in a crescendo of chimes so jubilant,
the branches of the oak and dogwood
shimmy like a Pentecostal choir,
hands raised to heaven,
shouting Amen. 

From What You Saw and Still Remember

 

 

 


The Back Road in Winter

Gray skeletons of trees pass by our windows,
the silhouette of a hawk
against the cloud-covered sky.
Field after empty field, then three blanketed horses. 

On these slow trips to the city,
I can see the value of a monastic life,
both of us in silent contemplation,
the car’s quiet rhythm our Benedictine chant.

We drive back at twilight—the horses returned
to the sheltering barn, the arms of the trees
faded into shadows. Soon the dimming sky
will deepen into black, fill to overflowing
with the mystery of stars. 

From What You Saw and Still Remember

 

 

 


Early Autumn Suite

The steady whoosh of a breeze
hums through the maples
and builds to a crescendo in the oak.

High in the ponderosa pine
a trio of woodpeckers plays percussion.

A flash of sunlight
dances through the mimosa
like a golden bird.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Judith Waller Carroll is the author of What You Saw and Still Remember, a runner-up for the 2017 Main Street Rag Poetry Award, The Consolation of Roses, winner of the 2015 Astounding Beauty Ruffian Press Poetry Prize, and Walking in Early September (Finishing Line Press).  Her work appears in numerous journals and anthologiesand has been nominated for Best of the Net. She can be reached at judithcarroll@suddenlink.net