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Yellow sky, pale as a breath,
crescendos into flames running the rim of earth.
Pitch silhouettes of cottonwood trees
ripple against the solar flare.

Only the dark backs of things are visible on the scrim of searing light.

Sun, descending, is our fleeting temple,
a call to prayer for every memory in every cell,
catching hold of our collective breath
for the minutes until cool of dark springs up around us.

We return to our restless bodies.


Debra Shirley grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Northeast Georgia and currently resides in Colorado.  She is the Director of after school and summer arts programming for two elementary schools. Debra’s work has been included or is forthcoming in Nimrod International Journal of Prose and Poetry, The Cortland Review, Margie Review: The American Journal of Poetry, The Main Street Rag, Tar River Poetry, The Playwright’s Showcase of the Western Region and elsewhere.

© 2011, Debra Shirley

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