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Robert Strickland

StricklandRobert Strickland is a poet and musician living in central Florida with his wife Dena, dog Miles, and cat Petunia. His family hails from the American Deep South with English and Dutch roots. His work has appeared in Burning Word, Pirene’s Fountain, and Houseboat, among others.

Carlotta In White

We understood white
for the first time that day
in October when snow fell
twelve inches over dark green
firs. In the sun’s painful light,
it held to weighted branches
for a time, finally letting go
to spray powder across
the untouched surface below.

She was falling too
that winter, and I watched
her slow walk through the dusk
of sanity. Sometimes she grasped
my hand so tightly I knew
I was alive. On other days
she held hers out
in languid apathy
as if slowly
letting go.

The black asphalt gleamed
that last morning as I walked
through snowmelt to the front door,
feeling the gravitational pull
from the dense center of her will.
She told me she would leave
Friday, but couldn’t remember
what day it was today. I turned to go.
And as I stood in the open door,
foot arched over the threshold, looking
into her coffin-brown eyes,
it was clear that Saturday
would never come.

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