Reflections on the Longest Day
(a collaborative poem)

I’d rather think of the deer and birds and the blooming 
violets in the lawn. Would rather eat my salad 
with organic lettuce and feta, brewer’s yeast and pumpkin 
seeds, hard bits of carrot and broccoli, red onion for color. 
But when I stop at the roadside Greek Orthodox bakery
the baklava is dripping with honey. 
Moussaka with a salad of lettuce, tomato, and olives.
A doe and her fawn ramble through a field of green brush.

Years ago, I could flummox my dreams trying to decipher
my sticky sweet hopes from stern possibility.
Somedays I eat all I prepare, other times I grind it for compost.
Somedays wind buffets me, but I am fond of bracing myself
or finding hidey holes for a moment of reprieve.
Not succumbing to resistance is a benefit of age.
While I eat, honey drips into the stray gray hairs
loosened from the wind, the sky’s bruised
clouds a rib cage against a white sun.


Mary Ellen Talley lives in Seattle and Cheryl Waitkevich lives in Olympia. They attended a workshop on collaborative poetry and decided to practice together. Mary Ellen is a former speech-language pathologist (SLP) in Seattle School District. Her second poetry chapbook,
Taking Leave, has recently been published by Kelsay Books. Cheryl lives in Olympia. After a long career as a nurse, she is now an MFA student in the Rainier Writing Workshop.

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