local_library Just Like That

by Dale Champlin

Published in Issue No. 279 ~ August, 2020

So gradual was that summer when I was coming of age

          it seemed that the long days stretched out forever—

when the sun rose over the lake and birds plucked their harps

          then burst into full song and showers caught in cups of leaves

tipped to the moss below. Spider webs glittered in the bright air.

          It appeared that the open sky was something tangible

to have and keep and savor for a lifetime and in the brightness

          we would never be gone and that the earth was fixed on its axis.

Did I tell you how I took wing like a hawk takes wing

          and flew out over the lake-filled valley? How the crows

coughed in the willows that dripped their hair into the shallows

          then flew into the dawn like a jazz band on their high wings

and the village miles away woke with muffins and coffee

          and the morning paper and some people headed to their gardens

to plant nasturtium, morning glory and carrot seeds so they would

          fill their world with food and beauty. That evening we saw swallows flash

their bright eyes—chipping and scooping mayflies in the tiny black tweezers

          of their beaks. And the wheel of sky was turning and turning taking us

hour by hour into the future pregnant and full to bursting with promise.

          All the while the days of the calendar shuffled into stacks

and shadows stretched out farther and farther and the light turned

          rosy and golden and one by one the stars began to pierce the night.


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Dale Champlin is an Oregon poet with an MFA in fine arts. She is the editor of Verseweavers and director of Conversations With Writers. Dale has published in VoiceCatcher, North Coast Squid, Willawaw Journal, Mojave River Press, The Opiate, and other publications. In November she published her first collection, The Barbie Diaries, with Just a Lark Books.