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Three poems by Rose Mary Boehm


The winter god’s thumb smudges blood

stains into the skeletal trees,

gives them wings and the gift of sound

and we call them princes of the church. 

In cathedrals it’s not the ghosts who lay

cold hands on your bare arms

but the passing woosh of red cloth

contracts your skin and you wish

for the absence of unclean thoughts

and the trill of spring.

I never saw horizons until now

Between lightning and thunderclap

I counted time. 

Rain cleaned away the dusty

summer air, the mountains returned

to blue, the river swelled, I grew

ready for harvesting. And still

I hadn’t seen more than the valley.

I learned to say no,

which was not believed,

and yes, which was not honored.

Between lightning and thunderclap

I stopped counting.

I left the storms behind. The weather

is gentle and without surprises.

I watch the Pacific rise and fall,

breathing slow and measured,

and the horizon holds no epiphany.

Coming tomorrow, bringing a friend

Her son wrote, ‘Bringing a friend.’

Must show this girl.

Liver, bread crumbs, eggs.

He used to love liver dumplings.

Her hands to her elbows white like Mother Hulda’s.

A pinch of salt. Broth. She wipes a strand of grey

from her glistening forehead.

Her cheeks flushed from love. Pot roast of course

and spaetzle. She marinated the beef yesterday.

Add onions, carrots, and celery…

what time is it? Oh dear!

There he is, tall, tanned. She didn’t think

she could make such a beautiful son.

There is another face, a shy crooked smile.

Her son pushes him forward,

‘Mum, meet Sebastian.’

She wipes her hands on her apron.


A German-born UK national, Rose Mary Boehm lives Lima, Peru. Author of one full-length poetry collection and two chapbooks, her work has been widely published in mostly US poetry journals. Her latest full-length poetry MS, ‘The Rain Girl’, has been accepted for publication in June 2020 by Blue Nib. Her poem, ‘Old Love’s Sonnet’, has been nominated for a Pushcart by Shark Reef Journal where it was published in the Summer of 2019.

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