"Spring," by Christopher Raley

During the spring, the hills had flowered and turned green.

But when they came down from the north

through the pass in the mountains,

the hills had lost their life to brown waves of heat.

The barren valley stretched long under the hot wind.

She sat on the couch, small,

alone in the vacant room,

gazed at displaced objects

sitting like buds in crumpled flowerings of newspaper.

An empty picture frame,

a box still wrapped in blue and pink,

sympathy cards stared from among the scattered items.

Bare walls held no imagination

and objects no motivation.

When I come in

She has given up the couch

for a paper fan and a rocking chair by the window,

hand resting hollow on her stomach.

The dusty street runs through skeleton houses

constructed on untillable fields.

She gazes between street lights rising before their need

to beyond the hills.

Thunder clouds are forming over the mountains.