A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 13, Number 3, September 2019

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Janet Lynn Davis
Grimes County, Texas, USA


I was never all that close to Patsy, but a few things about her stand out to me even now. Besides being Lucy's best friend, she was one of the brightest kids in our second-grade class, someone who had her act together. Wide knit bands kept her wavy hair neatly in place. And each day she wore red or gray suede loafers—grown-up shoes with real, sparkling pennies tucked into their slotted straps. My mother, no doubt picking up on my envy, was quick to tell me that with my skinny heels I'd walk right out of them.

silver stars
dangle from my ears . . .
a touch of bling
when stella polaris
slips beyond my reach

I also remember Patsy for something she wrote. Occasionally, Mrs. Shaw, our teacher, asked us to compose essays of three or four sentences. One time, she called Patsy to the front of the classroom to read hers aloud. As soon as she finished, Mrs. Shaw, squinching her face, expressed concern about the first part: "It was a cold and sunny December morning." Evidently, two seemingly opposite adjectives didn't belong in the same sentence.

A moment later, Mrs. Shaw came to her senses. But I'd understood right away. I knew those days, that seasonal Texas chill blanketed with warmth from the sun's long arms.

winter solstice—
on this the shortest day
sunlight clings
to grassy roadsides
as your words cling t0 me