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Tonight is soft, the Wisconsin
winter's chill is tame and I am
practicing for queen of today.

I am lit inside.  Determined,
I breathe.  My familiar scorn
is put away. I walk the city's
street remembering, the
calming soft breathing.

Tonight is almost over and i
approach tomorrow in silence.
I walk some more in the

chilly drizzle. So soft the shadows
smile back from the store windows.
There are no don't walk signals.

The neon sign in Maxwell's flags
me, lures me inside.
I walk on.  I want to reach the
seventh block.  It's a good
number.  I stop at the gate,
a small park.  I pass it by.

My serenity is a soul sculpture.
No longer a passage in some
one's book. I author me.

Thanks to the moments of
shared caring.

I walk on enthrall of the soft
winds that bring me home.

I am returning to MySelf.

Caroline Shank
Bard of my reading, no less
the trail to my heart's desire.
Singing in the crevices of
memory I love you.

Ode to the bark and green
you awaken the song.
Sing to me in the spaces
between rhyme and

I wait to hold the source
of song, the poem of
you driven to the page
to lap the signs of
tomorrow like evanescent
cotton when spilled in
the wind of your

Tomorrow the nascent verse
will spill like water on flowers.
Grow to the top dear Poet,
ride the board of memories

which sing in the lines of
your experience.

Teach me, Sweet Jesus, to

Caroline Shank
What is happening to me is
Irrefutable loss. The end of
my days, the vestiges of
an unpaved life.

Without you I sank into the
mire.  The mundane years
show in a thick neck.  My
shoes are unpatched and
where the buckles were

are scars from the uncaring.

My neck reaches now to find
the last vestiges of my over

The lane I have walked on
has no line but a footfall
indentation of a size 8
shorn shoe.

No to the voices calling
you.  I wrap my scarf
around the memory,
young and death defying
important and the now
journey for naught.

Caroline Shank
1.15 2023

She Wrote Again

She wrote again. I found her
letters, looking for the storm
of him.  The wind knocked
red hair, the black boots left
outside the door.  I read that

he left on a Sunday, walked
away without his trademark
whistle trailing Oh Shenandoah
behind him.  

The dim days followed.  She
asked everyone, where he was,
his blue eyes a DNA call away
from her.  There was no

She had no speech left and
the nurses were glad to be
rid of the man in the picture
on her broken table, broken
between the war years and

She glanced backwards in
her dementia.  The rough
hewn Sundays, the lost
afternoons.  Her disappearances
not the less tiresome, were

She wrote letters over the same
paper, shop worn stationery,
over and over.

When she stopped it was on a
sunny afternoon.  No one knew
she left for the day before his
kiss became goodbye, with a
smile of relief.  

Caroline Shank
I'm tired she said as she drifted
away to the sky of someone
else's blues. The sun of pure
understanding regaled her
until her sentence ended.
Oh God of desperate climes

rescue her before the clifs
of lost dreams win and
she dies in her dreams.

Caroline Shank
Caroline Shank Dec 2022
Mary looked up to see tears
on Joseph's cheeks. She.
was exhausted.  The trip that
ended in the birth of her baby
was a flight out of Egypt

Tomorrow she would be in
quarantine. The contamination
of her body must be resolved.

Theirs was a strict following.
Her blood must never touch
hallowed ground.

The baby boy slept, unaware
of the Laws.  

Mary felt the sweat of her labor
dry stiffly around her forehead.
The World would wait.

Jesus's was the singular cry.
The long last breath of Hope
sweet on her face.  The
foreshadow of someone's
salvation loosed.

Mary sank into sleep
safe that she and the
baby could begin the
long journey to Calvary.

Did she know the last
of a mother's desperate
clinging to the moment?
Jesus smiled at her.
Mary brought light into
darkness, fuel into a cold
night and a will of

determination to sound
the Corridor to

Magic reenactment of

Religions signification.

Mary rested with her baby
for oh so short


Caroline Shank
Caroline Shank Dec 2022
I have seen the marble arch
and was not afraid.  The
comeliness of it's curved
surface paused me. Your
song whispered of birds

felting by, of fallen kings and

I have time on my hands to
listen. Hallelujah.  For my
steadfastness in love has left


I swore to all the kings in the
Bible. I offered my skinned
knees, for solace that I was heard.


There are cracks in my head,
my ankles are shackled.  No
music but a laugh echoed
side to side.  

I will go down to the river to
find God.  Your repertoire
is complete.

Why a monk Leonard? The
music of the ages was written
without your melody and
I sank beneath the river
like a stone.

But you're not there.  Your
music sustains me.  I walk
out, wet and cold.  


I am redeemed from the
nightmare.  I step on your
music as a soft petal.

I am for a moment, relished
and shriven.  


Caroline Shank
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