Green Hills Literary Lantern



Morning Wash



Everything is blue and white—


your eyes, the water glass,

white dolphin on a blue horizon,

Alaskan ice and snow, blue


bottles behind a dark window,

drawn shades facing waves like

eggstones in the undercurrent,

sun on the esplanade, white fish


flesh tossed in the bay, egrets

picking pinfish from a bait pail,

curved half moon bellies,


your coral necklace and a blue

print band around your Panama hat

with a single white feather,


and sheets in the morning water light.


After You're Gone



I'm standing in the refrigerator light

pouring water into a blue glass

when a white van pulls up.

I peer under the blind,

and a large man steps into the drive

with flowers in his hand.

I look away and wait.

No one comes.

And then the drive's empty.

Everything still smells of flowers.


So I don't look out my windows anymore,

and I don't think about you and music

and the beach, about red skies

and dolphin falling,

about the rough horizon line

I saw through your binoculars

and a new cold evening.


And I don't remember the year

my father gave me an aquarium.

He made me close my eyes

and pressed my palms

against the glass.  "Guess."

All the fish died.

Now all I remember

is how to close my eyes.



Polly Buckingham’s work appears in The New Orleans Review, The North American Review, The Tampa Review, (Pushcart nomination), Exquisite Corpse, The Literary Review, The Chattahoochee Review, The Potomac Review, Hubbub, The Moth, Cascadia Review and elsewhere.  She recently won the Jeanne Leiby Memorial Chapbook Award and has a chapbook forthcoming from Hoopsnakes Press.  She was a finalist for Flannery O’Connor Award in 2011, 2012, and 2013.  Polly is founding editor of StringTown Press.  She teaches creative writing and literature at Eastern Washington University.