Constants and Variables
At six a.m. we walk the forest path,
Hilda—the Stockholm pooch—and I. She trots
and sniffs confused, confronted by the math
of moss and grass, a dog’s connect-the-dots.
She assays boulders left by glacial ice,
red lingonberries, heather, fragile fern.
I have a matrix too, complex as gneiss.
I know the whats, the why is yet to learn.
We walk an austere northern paradise.
I’m lost in thought, morose and taciturn.
Dumb Hilda rolls delirious with glee.
A rougher force than rolls big rocks like dice
propels us clueless through our brief sojourn.
We walk the path: young Hilda, x and me
A screened-in porch
facing a potholed street.
A turkey feather pillow
to ease the pain that comes
sometimes, sharp as knowledge,
and someone walking with quick steps
along the sidewalk,
not stopping to ask how you doing, gal? Then
night falls harder. Lightning bugs
spark and float. She holds her breath,
studies their slow explosions.
She is rigid as a bean pole.
And the roses exhale a hazy fragrance
that could drive a body crazy,
just thinking about how he walked by
and didn’t stop.
About the author
Janice D. Soderling has published poems, prose and translations in hundreds of journals and anthologies. She became a time traveler via her latest collection,…Read the full bio
Issue 12 · June 2011
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