Jill White


I am an old woman who lives by the sea,
where the salt air sows rust in my lungs.
Where the evening tides
pull the moon to my bed
and sleep comes, deep and easy,
with the ancient rhythm of the water’s edge.

I rise with the gulls and the shrimpers
to the tender embrace of a foggy dawn;
primordial tears of condensation
slide down window panes,
their lacy trails an inconstant and cryptic map.
Fledgling white caps, a fringe of frothy smiles,
trip and tumble toward the open Gulf.
The prodigal breath of an untended shore
fills every empty space
and wraps, familiar, around my shoulders.

Oh, but somewhere in my desert past,
the wind still rides the long horizon,
and the arid perfume of heat prevails.
Wild ponies dance, flush, in my heart;
fierce dust from their pounding hooves,
weightless and dry, coats my bones
and tests my love of the sea.

Jill White

is a former educational administrator and professor of communication and currently works as an award-winning jewelry artist. Her poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals, including The Kentucky Review, U.S. 1 Worksheets, The Poetry Quarterly, Olentangy Review, and Rust+Moth.