February in Johnson, Vermont
At the Red Mill, coats decorate on wooden pegs, lumber plaid, New York City red. They crowd each other, one hooked above another, squabbling for space. Boots shorn, the stomp of wet snow on thin orientals. The smell of butternut, risotto, beef. Homemade bread and cheese. Strangers fill the dining room, wordsmiths all. Bare tables glow with stories.
Gihon River in Spring
Mud season. Your waters against the shore dare land, battling downstream, ice shrinking. One grand floe muscles its way, bumping its opponents like musical chairs. I wonder how you look today, Gihon, far away and, I, in the city, dreaming.
you say i don't show love i show judgment and distaste and never listen and always race
out of the room and don't stay to hear your diatribe on how i have wronged you and how you have worked so long on getting yourself adjusted to having a mom who is not your cheerleader and how you would hate to have this same relationship with your child, how you can't imagine that ever happening and in some unspoken way your life is better, superior
and i try to hold my tongue but once again must leave the room and you
pursue and are relentless with your swipes and i with mine - you need to respect my time and not give me a heart attack when my throat swells up with all i want to scream and yet i don't, i withhold the very emotion you want to see and claim you never have –
my love for someone so like me that all else confounds us
Editor's note: The font size of "Daughter" was manipulated to preserve Cecil's line breaks.
Carolyn Cecil writes from Baltimore, Maryland. She is the author of Taken Away, a poetry book published by The Broadkill Press. Her poems have been in The Broadkill Review, Freestate Review, Loyalhanna Review, Gunpowder Review among others. She is a member of the Ligonier Valley Writers and the Burlington Writers Workshop and attended Vermont Studio Center in 2013 and 15. She keeps her pen ready.