Chance, by Pat Anthony

Chance
by Pat Anthony

You gamble on good days,
throw the dice at a five o’clock
moon on the off chance that the
sixty minute drive northbound
will be free of the antlered ones,
their belly heavy mates swaying
from late beds to early breakfasts.

You wager on having just enough to get by,
the low side of fierce when you drag
armor and its weight drags at your very being.

Like seeing the hulk of the 1906 piano
minus keys, minus its damper assembly,
minus the music and you miss your soul.

You wonder about the slick fixer in the art
city by the river who will rewrap each hammer
and has conned you into believing that the
songs lie deep within the mahogany and not
the curling scraps around his feet.

After the day’s dealers go home, you gather
your take and the bag is heavy: the moon long
down, the fox settled into her den in the middle
pasture below the massive cedar. You listen
to the wind through its blue berried arms and
know for sure that what you hear tonight is true
music, the soughing notes all you need.

Process: Exploring whether to rebuild the old piano and being without it drove this poem, needing to search out the music that surrounds us.

Pat Anthony is a just retired Special Education teacher, writing from the heartland where she lives in the country. A lifelong poet, she writes daily, tries to edit faithfully, but enjoys the process of painting with words above all.

middlecreekcurrents.com

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Outside the City Limits, by Pat Anthony

Outside the City Limits
by Pat Anthony

Hollyhocks grew at the end
of the clotheslines. Rocketed past
silver posts to sway above singing
steel ribbons and lure the risk taker
with saucer shaped blooms, stamens
laden with pollen and swollen
bumble bees. Escaping the steamy
house, she came and watched
them tumbling around like laundry
in the old Maytag. Looked for an
opening and slowly cupped
her hand behind a bloom,
steadied her breath, slid her fingers
forward and shut the glistening blossom,
deftly twisted the petals, snapped the
stem and launched the tiny missile
skyward. Like pastel parachutes they
fluttered open, bees winging toward
the eastern meadows, spent flowers
like deflated balloons. No one ever
questioned how she spent her time,
and bees don’t tell.

Process
Childhood experience. Besides my brothers, no one ever knew about his game, nor did it occur to me I might get stung. It was a celebration of morning sun, busy bees, and possibility.

Pat Anthony is a just retired Special Education teacher, writing from the heartland where she lives in the country. A lifelong poet, she writes daily, tries to edit faithfully, but enjoys the process of painting with words above all.

middlecreekcurrents.com

Voices, by Pat Anthony

Voices
by Pat Anthony

Friday, and she calls from a dark place,
says how she fears weekends with their
various demands, two days without the
structure of nine to five. I listen but

notice how in the far distance the black
silhouette of what surely must be a
swallowtail butterfly departs from the
Rose of Sharon, how dark things lift off

and take wing if we let them go about
their business. I ask if she’s making any
more scarves for the homeless camp and
she says yes, she’s finally sorted it out,

those tangled skeins, yarn. Thinks
she may have an idea or two. In her
silence I see the tortoiseshell cat by
the cantaloupe flats making her own fun.

Let the querulous voice inside my head go
still, yield to our mutual goodbyes and decide
to count butterflies on the sweet spire, rush
to save the garter snake from the kitten.

Process: As a writer living with bipolar disorder, I find life presents with multiple choices. This was a concrete example.

Pat Anthony is a just retired Special Education teacher, writing from the heartland where she lives in the country. A lifelong poet, she writes daily, tries to edit faithfully, but enjoys the process of painting with words above all.

middlecreekcurrents.com