Two Poems by Melissa M. Frye

These two poems by Melissa M. Frye tenderly explore specific moments when naiveté falls away and reality is acknowledged…

by: Melissa M. Frye

On the Bank of the White River

I can’t remember how I came to stand before you, 
or when you took my hand, but I know the river

witnessed our togetherness as it wended downstream.
A cool evening breeze dismissed the sultry heat

as Robert Plant’s In the Mood spilled from a nearby car. 
Moonshine and shadow slipped through the canopy

of leaves casting shapes on the ground that flickered
like an old silent film. When we kissed, I realized

how easy it is to drown, breath stolen, warm current
urging me to slip below the surface. But you kept me afloat,

at once a tempter and savior. I don’t make light
of the boundaries we didn’t cross, nor the blurred 

edge on which we stood. Those hours, sharing a small
space in the open air, remain untarnished.
A Moment in the Sun
Mom and I stand in the warm afternoon sun
and admire our small, freshly planted garden; 

we imagine lush plants peppered with peppers, 
vines laden with cucumbers. In a voice brimmed 

with astonishment she says, Missy! How gray 
your hair is. I whirl to face her, touch the offensive 

strands with dirty fingers and wonder, has she 
just now noticed? A study of her sunlit face 

brings acceptance. Her brownish age spots 
and ill-fitting skin are reflections of age. 

Most of the time, an image of mom in her youth 
is superimposed over the aged woman, a fusion 

of past and present. Maybe she sees me as a similar 
mixture, child and adult. Together we move through 

thresholds, beginning after beginning, comfortable 
in familiarity, never anticipating a locked door 

or an end. She stands next to me. We're awash in sunlight. 
And I realize, this moment is fleeting, its weight heavy.

Arkansas native, Melissa M. Frye, is an award-winning poet whose work is featured or forthcoming in Agape Review, the Mid/South Anthology from Belle Point Press and Star 82 Review. She’s a proud caller of Hogs (Razorbacks, of course), adores Dean Martin, and dislikes squirrels.

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