Palm Ridge


When Alaska was
Robert Serviced out of me
I flew south
to saguaro, to mesquite, to ironwood,
to man-made lakes and crumbling
granite trails.

Friends in the hot tub by the key-shaped pool
call this place God’s waiting room.
I call it what it is, the Valley of the Sun,
and climb from the tub.

I walk past Humpty Dumpties
gossiping on a shelf inside the pool.
Pause by my husband in his shaded lawn chair
long enough to marinate my shoulders in sunscreen.
He fingers a brown spot on his forearm.
“Here’s a new one,” he says.
“I’m like the bottom of a ship, barnacled.”

Everyone practices humor here.
My pharmacist asks if I played golf with Lincoln.
My physician labels me EKG Champion of Stress Tests.

I double-step down the wide steps and cast off.
Swim a pool length, jackknife and stretch out.
Hook my feet on the concrete edge
beneath the gushing artificial waterfall.

My body is parchment,
an antiquated palimpsest, partially erased by jests.
But in this warm light my veins syncopate the blues

About the author(s)

This poem tied for second place in the BYU Studies 1999 poetry contest.



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Print ISSN: 2837-0031
Online ISSN: 2837-004X