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Kelsey & Goodwin – August 2017

Juliette Goodwin and Candice Kelsey traded art and words. Juliette shared this image, entitled “Red Flag Map,” with Candice:

In response, Candice wrote this poem:

Snow Tubing

This winter’s day
In San Bernardino National Forest
Where the clouds and pine
Combine into high elevation calico
A place called Snow drift
With hills like
White boxer puppies
And a sun seeming Sol Invictus at St. Peter’s

My son’s nose cold and red
Like the Japanese flag
Perfect drop of blood on a white sheet
Or the mocking compass in the corner of a map
Maybe the Chinese flag
Its proud golden star
Like a Mother
Whose four little stars
Fan themselves out to nurse
Leaving each nipple a penant

Red like that call button
On the wall by my parents’ bed
Meant for an emergency
A call to the police
That call button which I should have pushed
The moment I knew
What my mother knew all along
That those puppies would be drowned

Because always even now
I push, I push it and still
I am pushing –
Even as I speed down an icy hill
Leaving patterned continents
Like bruised ice or sudden hematoma
Forty years later
I listen for sirens that never come.

* * * * *

Candice shared this poem with Juliette:

Late Spring

I prefer the hour after bedtime,
that silent breeze of no children, no husband
but the white tiled mantel erect like
some porcelain Thai Buddha.

Soon I will succumb to the siren call of sleep,
very soon there will be the lumbering
of top sheets and heavy quilt – but for now
I can listen to the manic trill of crickets
mustering beside the screen door, or the
shuttering exhale of the refrigerator
with its curious posture while
the cats, two tumbleweed shadows, rocket through
their tiny door like newlyweds ready for life.

Even the typhoon dishwasher that has fallen
into its dull routine, spoons and forks
sequestered – even it has found a moment
to breathe. The crickets will grow mute,
the appliances will remain steadfast, and the cats
will find sleep – a dash of calm, a dash of order
before the lights resign and I stumble off
to become just another flowering body.

In response, Juliette made this image, entitled “After Late Spring”:

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