Turning Point




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Sample Poems by Gail Thomas

Spilt Milk

Morning comes. House quiet. Mother gone. The baby asks for milk in an orange cup. A voice sings, mariposa, mari, mariposa. Baby's lips are rimmed with white. She sways to the beat, licks the empty cup. Cup drops. A pool of milk stops the music. A voice commands, don't cry, but cry she does. For the mess, the morning, the mother.

And so it begins.


I have lost the thrill of the high ride,
  held in by a metal bar as
   the Paratrooper arcs
above the crowd, twirling,
  all vertigo.

Done with the backwards ferris wheel,
  nostalgia and sandals falling off,
   stalled at the top
between rescue and
  forward motion.

Swan boats, too placid.
Teacups, too child-like.

Give me Dodge-ems,
  thick-bumpered and battered,
   blue sparks flying,
rear-end collisions, jams
  in the corners, but always
   a steering wheel,
the illusion
  of control.


Your name, a lover's whisper,
will flit up and down the dark pines
when snow and windfall drifts the yard.

I await your quick visit to
lighten a Sunday grown dull and heavy
from my banquet of grief.

Come, little panhandler, I'll give
whatever crumbs you ask -
deliver me.

Watching You Leave

Many things may be mistaken for smoke - a burst of pollen released by a pine and carried on the wind, agrey scarf of cloud, threadbare and trailing, low morning mist hovering above the river. Being mistaken for what rises from flames can be a disappointment or a relief depending on your expectations. Which are more dangerous than fire. Smoke alone can be lovely the way it drifts with simple grace, but is seldom seen for itself, attached to the end - letters, leaves, forest, roof, village, body. Smoke reaches up like a prayer that can be read a hundred ways even as it thins and vanishes.