This ash-gray mouse asleep in my pocket,

this miserable list crumpled in my pocket,

this comet rattling around in there,

in the cluttered pocket,

unable to escape.


No squeaks—shy twitching of gray wire whiskers,

no pencil or ink—tea stains on tissue,

no flight—burnt afterimage of circling gulls

mocking the eagles, mocking the sea.


At high tide, the mouse nibbles biscuits and jam,

at low tide, miseries tangle long black tresses

in kelp.  The wrongs that are hidden, north and south,

east and west, fill the ever-rolling waves, toss

the coffins of crabs up on the sand.


Every morning the comet

hurls itself into the salty

bay and



There’s a man washing dishes in my pocket,

There’s a woman longing to hear the owl’s flute secluded

in the cedars.  In their own bed of percale

and sea grass, this man, this woman flash like comets.

Their arms and legs like ribbons

of lightning, burst through the clouds.

The slight, silver hairs of their souls rise like paddles,

moving the canoe out on the tide.


Diane Hueter served as the librarian for Texas Tech University’s The Sowell Family Collection in Literature, Community and the Natural World until her retirement in 2022. She now divides her time between Lubbock and the Olympic Peninsula. Her poetry has appeared in The Carolina Quarterly, Nelle, Western Humanities Review, and SWWIM. Her book After the Tornado appeared in 2013. Her work has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. Her poem, The Stranger at the Door, received 3rd place in The Connecticut Poetry Award (2023).


Diane Hueter

Listed at Duotrope
Listed with Poets & Writers
CLMP Member
List with Art Deadline
Follow us on MagCloud