The night the trees in the orchard
dropped their peaches,
the ground shook,
and a nurse told us it was almost time.
His breath was little then less.
With drooping eyes, he tried
to speak that day and night
when our whole world was stacked
against a disappearing sky.
We prayed his color,
somewhere between chlorine
would pinken when dawn arrived,
turning blackness to rust and pink
and then, clear blue.
Taking turns warming his hand,
my daughter and I switched seats
and shared memories
we hoped he could understand.
But nothing could stop a breeze
from blowing from the four corners
of the room or a blare
from seven trumpets
calling to the sea to wash it crystal.
Teresa Sutton’s fourth chapbook, “Ruby Slippers for Gretel,” (under different titles) was a top 50 finalist in the Wingless Dreamer 2019 Chapbook Competition and a semi-finalist in both the 2018 Concrete Wolf Chapbook Award and the 2018 Quill’s Edge Press Chapbook Competition. Her third chapbook, “Breaking Newton’s Laws,” won 1st place in the Encircle Publication 2017 Chapbook Competition; One of the poems in the collection, “Dementia,” was nominated for a Pushcart Prize. The final poem of the book, “Confiteor 2,” was honored with second prize in the 2018 Luminaire Award for Best Poetry. Sutton taught for 10 years at Marist College and 29 years as a high school English teacher. She has an MFA in poetry from Solstice at Pine Manor College, an MA in Literature from Western Connecticut State University, an MS in Education from SUNY New Paltz, and a BA from SUNY Albany.
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