Clouds have fallen again
settling in the valley
dampening cabbages and worn red barns.
Uncle is talking of mortgages and crop loss.
Auntie is staring into the chipped cup,
her wind-blown face absorbing his words
like the hail that fell last August.
But I think only
of the trip down the mountain.
We always stop for ice-cream.
The road is narrow and potholes trip our words,
forcing us into jarred laughter.
We curve sharply into the village.
Solid rock rises on the right
as menacing as January.
Two breaths to the left the cliff
sheers downward into clear bay waters.
The adults are deep in their bartering
and whose barn roof needs fixing again.
But I am free to dream
of leaping into haystacks,
chanting to soft-horned snails,
and slipping my tongue over dripping ice-cream.
Here in this place
chain their houses
to the hillsides.
First Place Category 2
FSPA State Contest 1991
Published: Florida State Poets Association Anthology 10