A teacup in porcelain,
a yawning emptiness.

A silver spoon, minus
the money.

Newsprint on a greenscreen,
technology’s darling.

A water’s edge bench
in need of repair.

In the background: an iced pond
reflecting a prairie shorn

of cover, a milk-cloud sky,
a constellation of birds.

Naked sycamores peeling bark,
their atoms trembling on the cusp,

china images in oiled strokes,
winter-scored, dormant, tender,

elemental fused to elemental,
a landscape rapt, in stasis,

awaiting the command
to wake into purpose.

Janet E. Irvin is a career educator and the award-winning author of five mystery/thriller novels. Her short stories, essays, and poems have appeared in a variety of print and online publications, including Hawaii Pacific Review, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, FLIGHTS, and MockTurtleZine.