Kimberly Peterson

Poetry for Hope and Healing

Amid Mailbox & Maple

Wise Tailor

 Eating alone, I work my way 
down sizes in my closet from 16 to 12
 
make regular trips to the tailor,
have waistbands taken in.
 
I walk in holding a man’s hand. Should you need it,
I can let waists back out. Very professional,
 
no one will notice. The tailor
was correct, no one noticed alterations,

at least not
in the clothing.
Tools of the trade

Retirement

No longer needing to commute,
we move out of the city
seeking inside-snow-globe quiet,
trade tail lights for tails,
cow, deer, fox, dog.
 
View from my kitchen window
two swayed back mares
eating hay, sleeping,
their world defined by white fence
and barbed wire.
 
Through spring breeze, snowfall
minus 20-degree weather
eating hay, sleeping
echoes of circular
instructions on shampoo
lather, rinse, repeat.
 
“Being put out to pasture”
acquires new meaning.
 
At least I have my volunteer work

Bookshelf Poem

the untethered soul
in the skin of a lion
alien, correspondent
break, blow, burn
the unconscious civilization
one simple act
the power is within you
small sacrifices
acceptable losses
uncommon justice
Rummaging through my bookshelves to celebrate April, Poetry Month

confetti kisses
sprinkled on pine, outstretched boughs
gather up snow bouquets

Key

Key
 
Three omega wolf cubs wearing defiance, (baseball
caps backwards, baggy pants, bulky chains securing
empty wallets) in the edgy interval
of peach-fuzz chins and croaking voices. I shoo
them out of the hospital basement
on my way to the change room.
 
As I exit, the staff entrance door clicks
locked behind me. I see them illuminated
by the streetlight, circling,
a pack on the shore
waiting for their prey
to exhaust itself
swimming.
 
Rummaging through my purse,
instead of my staff badge
which unlocks the door,
I find my key ring.
 
Ignoring the flutter of hummingbird
wings caged by my ribs, I stride
through them, chin up, shoulders square,
make it half way to my car
before I hear feet
slapping closer, loud as a
beaver tail’s warning.
 
I spin around, keys protruding
from my clenched fist like talons.
They freeze mid-step,
turn to retreat in unison.
You’re fucking brave when I’m facing you
hurled at their backs as insurance.
 
Once locked in my car, shivering
like birch leaves in the evening breeze,  
I struggle to stem the news feed stream
of alternate ugly endings,
texture of blood, broken bone, bruises
supplied by my nursing experience.
  
I imagine them
laughing at the
harmless only joking fun
 
but
 
still can’t leave a building
without clutching keys
in my hand right hand.

First appearing in Bywords Feb. 2017

Haiku

snows tears drip from eaves
yellowed stalks cha cha with breeze
sorrow melts as ice recedes

Inhaling Indigo

I want to live in that interlude, 
after the goodnight conk -la -ree
of red-winged black birds
settling into the cattails,
before crickets’ chirp
 
after birth of the nascent polliwog,
before it sprouts legs to leap
from the amniotic pond
into the claws of a hawk
 
after the peach sun ripens to pink
on the western ledge,
before its bruised skin
spreads across the sky
 
after mid-day calm
before the evening breeze
quivers through silver poplars  
until leaves murmur like
gossips’ tongues in church.
 
I want to live in that interlude
after I sat down for supper,
before the phone’s shrill chirp,
before I put on this midnight dress,
before I placed burgundy roses
on your casket of poplar,
before the parlour filled with murmurs.
 
When I still inhaled indigo
and exhaled champagne-pink.
Indigo Night





tangerine moon drips
light on thinning quilt of snow
crocus sleeps beneath
tangerine moon

"I reach for a sea shell, into its cochlea I confess"