KATE WILLOUGHBY

Click headshot for bio

ROAD TRIP

Somewhere under R in my Rolodex of wishful thinking

is a card marked with a star, labeled

        Road Trip,
filed there at a time when a longing overcame me to pack a bag and go,

just go—
as if I were 24 again, free from children and elderly pets,
loosed from my Sisyphean day job.
I’d throw my bag in the back of a black ‘67 Chevy Impala with its 550 Horsepower engine,
stretch out my arm over the back of the bench seat,
windows open, my dark hair flying back unpinned, singing
Highway to Hell, You Don’t Own Me, or Ramble On.
I’d stop at roadside diners to order meatloaf, gravy, mashed potatoes,

and all the kinds of pie there are, just as I wish,
without apologies,
with no clock ticking, no one to meet me, no one to please.
Driving east at dawn, the quicksilver highway leads me
to the island, to go barefoot in the cool sand, to
push into a salt wave and float.

p16 coming out of the storm.jpg

"Coming Out of the Storm" by George Grace. Watercolor.

Click here for George's artist page.

INSOMNIA

The dove and wren sleep in roof eaves,
warblers nest in crooks of trees, a west wind
rattles the poplar leaves and sighs rain.
Even though I chant my soporific rites and spells,

drink the chamomile tea, bow in the asanas of sleep,

no sleep is coming, it may never.

My heart lies to me:

Get up! The moon is on fire.
Get up! If you lie down, small birds will die.
Get up! You and the world are falling.

I pull on rough clothes and go out in the dark yard.

Kneeling, I pull out rue, thistle, dandelion, plantain.

Sorry, I say to them as my hands turn green with their

vegetable blood.
With earth and rain my knees and face grow wet.

Light wings flutter in the juniper bush,

and I know the truth.

IMG_2601.jpg

"Nesting" by Wendy Caldwell Maloney. Watercolor.

Click here for Wendy's artist page. 

THE RAIN, THE ROBIN

The same robin came down from the fence,
hopping with his little stopping hop,
not worried at all about me standing very still in the back yard,
trowel in hand, muddy pants and windbreaker, even
when I spoke to him—
silly things you can say when you are alone with a robin—
and you could think this small sign of goodness means something
for the universe,
to have a robin, a big one at that, think that I was okay,
that he could get on with his work of finding fat worms to feed his brood, and come back to my yard like it was safe.

When it began to rain softly, the air got a little colder.
It did not occur to me to get out of the rain, not when the earth was ready, and flowers waited to go in.
It was a kindness really, this robin seeking food,
with me, standing just the same, in the rain.

p72 small signs of goodness.jpg

"Small Signs of Goodness"by Fotini Galanes. Graphite on paper.

Click here for Fotini's page.