On the Mendecino Coast

5″ x 7″ cherry wood block print on Somerset paper
with Graphic Chemical vine black ink

A tangled wildness was choking out

the Iceland poppies she had set in rows

along the peeling, yellow picket fence.

She sat beneath the tree and thought about

the years she’d fought those weeds and all the hoes

she’d bought. Whatever for?

If she’d the sense

of weeds and worms, she would have left them all

alone and saved herself the work. With him,

she could have sat beneath that weeping oak

and watched those wild weeds grow strong and tall

each spring and ripen in the summer.


could laugh away the world. It was a joke

to him, and he could laugh at everything

the world contained. He’d laugh at her out there

with dirty hands and knees and she would yell,

“You’re good for nothing. That you are.” and fling

a clod of dirt at him.

He didn’t care

if he was hit, but if he was he’d tell

her, “For a little gal, you’ve quite an arm.”

and they would banter back and forth and then

he’d smile and call her something special, and

it wouldn’t matter what he did.

What harm

was there in all his life? It’s just, some men

aren’t meant to be a rock. Some men are sand.

first published in The Newvictorian