February 26, 2015 / Creative Writing
A man climbs buttes in western North Dakota, wondering if he’s a force of good or evil.
December 13, 2007
One star against the winter blackened sky,
no more, not yet, though there will be
soon—soon enough the night filled
with leaping crackling light
bound for eternity.
For now, one star glistens
a hand’s breadth above skeletal trees
while behind me
(I know for I have turned to look)
the sunset’s raw wound nails nighttime
to the earth.
Wish on the star, there, low;
my body pierced
by an arrow of hope beyond possibility
in this world gone awry; grief congealed
in shrouds and hospital beds, the dead
too young and I am too old
to see war again. Wish on the star.
A simple thing, this wish, crafted
in blood-written words naming peace.
Peace I leave you; peace I give you . . .
snow covered plains on a frosted night,
the dark slash of a frozen creek bed—
coyotes run through the draw,
warble sweet and high
as if they were angels, singing in tongues.
Janet Sunderland grew up on a Kansas farm and has lived throughout the U.S. and in Europe, Mexico, and the Caribbean. She's now in Kansas City with her husband, Cliff. Her work has been published in the Chicago Tribune, the Kansas City Star, the Writer, KC Voices, the Rockhurst Review, and other publications, and her poetry and essays have won regional prizes. She teaches writing at Avila University.