Steam rises from the enameled sink
as I finish Sunday’s pile of dishes
in the farmhouse we landed in
after a nomadic childhood.
We’ve cattle for neighbors. Holidays come
and go. Words cut the air as often
as silence. One summer the well
runs dry, the vegetables shrivel
on their vines, and a ripe moon mocks
me, shadows dancing across my bed.

Hope breaks like dishes – my father
heads West to find it, and my mother
pretends dishes mend themselves.
This slackened day propels me out the door.
Our weathered porch frames a single hemlock.
Nothing seems to move but water – a gutter bleeds out.
The pond’s skin shivers like thoughts of staying.

Launch a particle of light from a star fast enough
and watch it burn white hot as it speeds away.

Eliza Blanchard, a long-time writer of poems, blessings, sermons, and reflections (“The Seasoned Soul”), taught English, is a retired Unitarian Universalist minister and spiritual companion, and an admirer of her fellow writers, fellow animals and trees. She is published in The Chicago Review, The Cimarron Review, Antigonish Review, Minnow, and others.