She figured ten minutes on the deck in full sun

would lift her out of a downward spiral.

Self-doubt should have faded

once she had published books,

worked through a difficult marriage --

climbed the ladder of years.

Yet at times, skepticism shadowed sense --

The familiar ache of descent

filtered down to her fingertips.

No way to pick precise words

when wrestling with oneself.

She put her laptop to sleep,

turned off her phone and sat,

looking over golden-flowered squash

and end-of-summer roses

that blushed when the light shined through.

The breeze cooled her skin,

gently erased traces of sweat

from morning’s fruitless writing.

She scolded herself

and turned her eyes upward

to view ginger-tinged maple leaves.

take in full-throated robin song,

Ten sunny minutes grew to twenty

as blue jay, black cat, and squirrel

took turns drinking from the bird bath.

Her shoulders relaxed —

self-doubt could wait

but late-summer moments like these

were numbered.

Mary Anna Kruch

Mary Anna Kruch is a career educator and writer. Inspiration flows from her Italian family near Rome, her American family, PTSD, and nature. She leads a monthly local writing group. Recent poetry has appeared in Ariel Chart, Mark Literary Review, Trinity Review, Wayne Literary Review, Credo Espoir, and an anthology: After: Stories About Loss and What Comes After. Work is forthcoming in two anthologies. Her first poetry collection, We Draw Breath from the Same Sky, was published in July, 2019.  

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