Some things you can count on: Old Mrs. Ross on her front porch, black,
black hair that will never turn grey, pulled back in a bun, raisin eyes. Abundant,
on tufted cushions, wicker rocking chair. Shaded by trellises of clematis vines.
Embroiders. Tabby cat dozes at her feet. Little table beside her. Iced ginger
cookies, rose plate.
Neighbor kids with wagons and scooters cross the street. Mothers cautioned
them not to talk with – they don’t need to be warned.
Pretty, young Mrs. Decroix passes by.
“You look tired. Come rest a minute.”
“Thank you, Mrs. Ross, but I must get home.”
Sighs with relief. She hasn’t said a word about her husband going “out
West.” She doesn’t need to. Mrs. Ross knows. Knows everything.
Mrs. Ross’s fingers are nimble. Her needle darts, does fill-work with the
infinite precision. She bites off the thread with her sharp teeth.
Cat jerks its neck, flinches in its sleep.
It was raining when I arrived at the Colosseum.
The day demanded it; a weary sky curved
around that great edifice, a hesitating caress,
as though no space could contain such an object.
Some places should be haunted,
deserve the persistence of ghosts.
Yet the voices of visitors almost conceal
the briefest stain of echoes
blood of centuries
clean but never cleansed;
stones that will not be humbled
by mere decay and moss.
How many have written about you?
How many couldn’t
because your shadow is too heavy?
When I left the sun was delivering a benediction,
overwhelming any lingering shades of the past
but for the brutal beauty
of magnificent pock-marked stone,
clinging to relentless pride.
Kim Lee Seagull
It was in the moon
Of ripe Blueberries
When the great Gulls
Shed their feathers
That she came like
The prayers of morning
At this sacred time
And in this holy place
The yellow Buttercups
And the Devil’s Paintbrush
It was here among
These flowers of summer
That I asked the
If she loves me
Oh— Oh my Soul
If only my count
She loves me not
Mid Rivers Review is an annual publication of St. Charles Community College. Writers are welcome to submit original unpublished poetry, short fiction, creative nonfiction and artistic photos from October through January. All entries must be postmarked by Jan. 31, 2012.
See a complete list of submission guidelines at www.stchas.edu/midriversreview.