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Squall Lines

"The sky bleeds gray"

Published onJul 05, 2023
Squall Lines

Photo by Tina Nord:

I think I spot a clot of blood from my kitchen
window. It moves

inside the branches of the forsythia. A male
cardinal puffed up, silent

just as winter plans its evacuation. Buds
fall off the rhododendron,

a small lick of pink remains. Squall lines
form in unstable atmospheric

conditions. My hands deep in soapy
water. Deep in retirement.

The sky bleeds gray. A robin digs its throat
into the ground, lifts up

from a sudden squall by the empty picnic
table, condensation of water vapor.

My husband stands at the edge of our yard.
Soaking. Severed limbs

of the oak lie, survivors of this last great
brawl of the season.

He speaks to me through the open
window. These are the long

sunsets, the ache in the body. The shift
of winter to spring.

Roxanne Cardona was born in New York City of Puerto Rican heritage. She was a principal and educator in the South Bronx and is finishing up a manuscript based on her experiences. She has been published in One Art: A Journal of Poetry, Connecticut River Review, Pine Hills Review, Mason Street, Ethel Zine, Constellations, Commuter Lit (where her poem “Raven” was chosen for poetry week) and elsewhere. Roxanne lives in New Jersey with her husband.

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