Riven

joyful forty, forty-one
it was just getting good
i was just getting started
and then cruel life
dealt blow after blow
for year after year
with death and strife
thieving my calm
and ova and sight —
healers and patches
blessed the rocky way
but nothing’s the same —
what of me remains?
stitches and fray

—Terri Guillemets

Death lights heavy

Hummingbird mama
abandons her nonviable eggs —
but keeps checking back
a few more times, just to be sure.

An arm falls from a sickly saguaro
and breaks open on the ground
like a prickly green eggshell —
after decades of desert still-life
a few seconds of death-motion.

But the night breeze is so beautiful
those breezes are — so beautiful
it’s hard not to get swept away.

—Terri Guillemets