A cloud-shrouded peak
in the cold rarified air, lofty and inaccessible
a mountain spring bubbling from beneath a rock
a cotton cloud in an otherwise clear blue sky
a pearl glinting in an oyster
the Evening Star on a moonless night
an oasis in the desert
the full moon just before sunrise
the last brown leaf on the tree.
A fly, struggling in a spider's web
an eagle riding the currents of the air
a canary in a gilded cage
a wandering lamb
a spaniel left in a car while its owners are shopping
a robin's egg in the grass.
A weather-worn barn
a prison tower
a rope bridge over a chasm
a deserted lighthouse on a jetty
the caboose of an empty train
a broken-down carousel in a forgotten fairground.
A snowman wasting away in the grass
an errant balloon
the forgotten toy
a floating bottle with a note inside
the last crust of bread.
An empty mailbox
a busy signal
reaching an answering machine
receiving a cold shoulder.
A ship at sea in a storm
a flat tire and no spare
a hitchhiker's thumb.
An orphan sleeping in a cardboard box in an alley
a child crying because she cannot find her parents in a crowd
a condemned man blind-folded in front of a firing squad
a football quarterback
a dreamer of dreams
a man or woman at prayer
a leper calling out, "Unclean!"
having to always be right
losing a friend
the death of a loved one -staring up from the mud through barb-wire and tracer rounds
peace and quiet.
What we always are
What we never are.
written for my writing class at Chemeketa Community College.