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.