Photo by Will Sardinsky

Our town, one table
By Just Jim

Tucked in the Rockies
Beneath Mother Mountain
Whimsical beings
And, a table to seat them all

By A.P. Harrison
“Diary of a Divorce”

I’ve been moved from a gilded cage to a clear Lucite box Both are sanctioned by society…
Bearing people’s unknowing “stamp of approval”
So, why can’t I accept them…
Acknowledging my part in my predicament? 

The cage was beautiful to others
Steeped in all its finery..
Square footage and gold
Diamonds and wine
Prestige and loneliness… 

I was kept there
No wants; no needs
Only echoes of emptiness Imperceptible to others
That thundered in my ears. 

It was so beautiful that it sometimes fooled even me
What was wrong with me that I kept jiggling the lock…
Waiting for the moment that you forgot to turn the latch
Allowing me a chance to actually sneak out into the real world
And taste life…my own life. 

Then in a strange twist of fate
You grew weary of being my warden….and cast me aside
I awoke one morning and found myself outside of the beautiful cage
And I was terrified
What if the outside world wasn’t as I’d always dreamed? 

I gripped the gilded gate and pulled with all of my might
This is where I belong
It’s what I’ve known for so long
And what I’ve done so well
An escape on my part would be foolish by anyone’s estimation. 

The gate had been locked behind me
And the only key, thrown away
The gilded cage now sat empty
As I stared into the bars, I could sense the sadness left inside
And feel the vacuum pulling on my soul. 

Though my vision of myself had dwindled
And my dreams all but vanished…
I could feel the rekindling of fire within my soul
A sense of renewal building within a petrified heart
And I smiled. 

I turned in haste, here was my window of opportunity Determined to stretch my wings 

I bolted for the light, the wide open spaces 

Within my first few strides, I collided with some unforeseen force 

That dropped me to my knees. 

I had been expelled from my beautiful cage 

Only to be trapped within an emotional force field
That was invisible to everyone except me
This box was strong and unforgiving
Steeled with feelings of disregard, dismissal and disappointment. 

I could see what could be mine…in another place…
But could no longer smell it or feel it…even thru bars
This is far more cruel than before, for I was truly removed True isolation, where no one can hear me scream. 

Ancestors are woven into the fabric
by Jeanne Souldern

Clothes hanging on a line
The breath of ancestors twisting and turning the fabric
Many years ago, my mother and I washed clothes in a wringer washer
Many years ago, I hung wash on this line

Hanging clothes on a line with clothespins
The dust of the ancients mingling in the threads
The flesh and bone that swirls in the air
Goes back beyond the white man’s record of time

The Grandmother gently cautions me
“Make sure you do your best to conserve;
This is the best use of the pins,
Place them in a way to make the best use of space.”

Dancing between the lines;
The re-membering of
Hands and feet
Muscle and tendons
Eyes that see this world and others beyond
This time and place.

Grandmother is lively and ever so patient with her children
I feel her warmth and comfort in this sacred place in between
She gives a knowing smile and a nod
She knows how to make the work purposeful
Grandmother, still here, steady as a rock.

Now the pants legs dance a sacred dance
The sun and the wind work their magic
Like the way they hugged the bodies of ancestors
Comforted in a hide that would later be part of the dirt

My work is getting lighter, and I find myself singing
As I hang my clothes
Where did this song come from?
It is not one I learned in school.
Is it from an ancestral prayer?
Only Grandmother knows for sure
As she gives me a wink and
Vanishes under the billowing sheets.