Tousled Lady

Tousled Lady

in the parking lot
lugging milk and corn flakes
and bread in brown
paper bags,
you catch
my stolen glance
at your little
you grimace,
forgive me
for intruding
into your private
world —
I walk away

into the store,
Friday towards dusk,
my hair flows neatly down
my shoulders,
my blouse
crisp and creaseless,
my list is short,
the evening hours long

for the laughter of my little ones,
the crinkle of brown
paper bags, the crackling
of corn flakes in milk,
the warmth of bread baked
in my own peculiar
of long ago.

by D. G. Vachal © 2012

“December Hearth Fires”

By Stephen Butler 2

December Hearth Fires

December was warm where I was born:
the bougainvilleas bled crimson amidst the thorns,
and in the evening hours
the children, the children, walked with naked,
calloused feet upon the gravel roads,
and stopping from gate to gate,
like orioles they huddled,
for pennies to fall on tiny cupped hands,
from the carols they sang with seraphim voices,
while the hunger raged
beneath their tattered clothes —

December is cold where I have come to stay,
the scarlet berries sparkle upon the glossy leaves,
and in the evening hours
my children, my children, climb up to bed in cotton
nighttime clothes, swept up to heaven’s gate before they sleep,
embraced by love-drenched arms,
but I remember the hungry
angelic faces,
the parched and naked little feet,
their rags of shirts and trousers,
far away
on a warm December night —

I must go back and find
the children, the children,
and bring them to the glowing
hearth fires
of my December.

by D. G. Vachal © 2012

*** Photography by Stephen Butler @Flickr Commons