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Hopkinson & Williams – May 15

Trish Hopkinson and Beth Williams traded art and words. Beth shared this piece, entitled “The Storm Before the Calm,” with Trish:

TheStormBeforeTheCalmIn response, Trish wrote this poem:

Eurydice’s Cardinal

Mornings are when it hurts most,
like bruising wind bending
the horizon sideways.

Lying on my side, the sunrise twists
in the window, the glare reaches
to the right and into the dawn.

This is the storm before the calm,
the waking state that splits you
from me. You turned to see

me, a step too soon and my organs
plummeted, brick-heavy and distant
into the depths of the mundane.

I sleep through it all, but it’s only at night
you visit me in visions. You come
as a cardinal, your crimson

wings striking against the dark, your heart
behind you, trailing morsels
of tenderness lost.

* * * **

Trish shared this poem with Beth:

A Leveling

He brought us here, to this juniper desert,
across Midwestern state borders into broken promise,
sloughing family fragments like tire treads along the way.
I-80 rose up like Hell’s Backbone, egoistic and narrow-
sighted with drops on either side of slight rails.
We should have been safe in the valleys,
miles away from Boulder Mountain . . .
And yet I learned to fear altitudes,
the uncertainty of my own feet,
the distant perspective of abandonment.
Two years gone. Maybe it wasn’t long enough.
The knee-locking dread never subsides.
Instead, vertigo sets in on each downward step,
handrails clinched each time I try high heels
and the teetering always sets me down bare.
How can I be bowed into such spinelessness,
faint at the sight of red clay cliffs and sloping pines—
a grand staircase. Father Escalante would pray for me
to forgive. He would level my landings. He would lead
me to grace.

–originally published by Wicked Banshee Press. Issue #2 Fall 2014.

In response, Beth made this image, entitled “Precipice”:


2 Comments leave one →
  1. May 21, 2015 10:45 am

    Wow, Trish, thanks for sharing this! I was also blown away!

  2. December 7, 2017 6:54 pm

    Trish–these pieces are both wonderful. Funny, I was just thinking of Orpheus and Eurydice recently. This is a powerful way to remember the story.

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