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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 8, Number 3, September 2014

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Carol Judkins
Carlsbad, California, USA


Into The Woods

And who can tell, What’s waiting on the journey?

—Stephen Sondheim

Twilight. Of this day, of her life. She takes a stroll in the country, lifts her eyes to the reds and gold, the fade to purple as the sky darkens. In the distance, the sounds of a train whistle. California poppies course a wayward path, having moved away from the straight and narrow journey of steel. She smiles, awakened to the memory of a once-trod path.

empty nest—
the robin trills
a siren song

She rarely thinks of him anymore, but there it is: a moment years ago. He wrote poetry, speaking of love for her that would fill seven hearts. He called her his beacon, bringing him home. Married for years to a taciturn man, this was water for a woman adrift in a vast ocean. Excited and scared, she walked through his open door. All of his collection of lighthouses was blinking, some by candlelight. He held out a cup of coffee, but before she lifted it to her mouth, he kissed her. The candles dimmed, and the coffee remained unsipped.

Another train whistle, closer now, brings her back. A little sprinkle of rain falls, but no matter. There is no mistaking his gait; he has come, carrying an umbrella, to bring her home.

now, voyager
on a moonless eve,
the stars
no giants in the sky
to obscure the light

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