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Woodcut by Bridget Henry

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Three Poems
By Amber Coverdale Sumrall

Starting from Scratch

I want you to kiss me the way
you did when we knew nothing

of one another, when your dark eyes
burned like nettles against my skin

and time stretched out before us,
a swathe of red silk

Take the watch from your wrist
Let the second hand spin

Bring me the just-born refrain
of your lips and tongue

Leave all that you’ve learned at the door

©Amber Coverdale Sumrall


Early bloomers,
irrepressible light bearers,
the color of clear spring skies,
my mother’s favorite Easter dress,
the purest blue flower it is said,
created to match Mary’s eyes.

Tiny stars appear in the stone walkway,
drainage ditches, beneath redwoods,
take over the iris and tulip beds,
seedlings multiplying like bees,
who emerge cold and sluggish
from their hive in the woodshed,
to find pollen waiting after March rains.
They cling atop each blue wisp
swaying like aerial dancers.

When I walk the garden pathways,
blossoms spill blue confetti,
and my thoughts lose their winter weight,
become airy and light as spun honey,
a wild humming in the heart.

©Amber Coverdale Sumrall


How many bolt at the last moment,
seconds before the bullet leaves
its chamber: deer, rabbit, duck, wolf?
The click of loading, a sound carried in bloodlines.
Some instinct garnered in stillness, the absence of language.
And the fish, how do they learn to ignore
the shimmering lure, the flashing red egg?

He fishes the alpine lake waters,
so clear you can see almost to bottom,
glimmerings of rainbow trout
too canny for the hook.
He is a seasoned hunter, brings home
enough for the freezer, invites
hungry women to sample his catch.
I was one of the lucky ones who got away.

©Amber Coverdale Sumrall

Amber Coverdale Sumrall

Amber Coverdale Sumrall has lived in Santa Cruz, California for 30 years. A nationally published poet and writer, Amber has edited or co-edited twelve anthologies. She is a freelance editor and leads Write to the Heart workshops which explore the realms of mind, body, heart & spirit through writing, as well workshops on crafting & revision, poetry and spirituality.


Spring 2012

Elizabeth McKenzie(?)

Stephen Kessler

Amber Coverdale Sumrall

Plays & Monologues
Wilma Marcus Chandler


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