Roberta Schultz is a singer songwriter, teacher and poet originally from Grant’s Lick, KY. Her poems and song lyrics have appeared in Pine Mountain Sand & Gravel, Still: the Journal, Motif, Kudzu, Riparian and other anthologies. Her three chapbooks, Outposts on the Border of Longing (2014,) Songs from the Shaper’s Harp (2017,) and Touchstones (2020) are published by Finishing Line Press. robertaschultz.com
I remember the newspapers dying like huge moths.
No one wanted them back. No one missed them.—Ray Bradbury
They dropped in clear chrysalis
at the end of each driveway.
We confused them for each other’s,
handed them over fences, red-faced
when accidentally, a husband picked up
more than one issue from the sidewalk.
We rolled them up to start campfires,
tucked them under the kindling, lit
the match and watched red edges
fly into night’s luna sky.
We shawled castaway china cups
with smeared news headlines
cushioned mailed Christmas gifts
into cardboard with commentary.
When money was tight, we wrapped
the presents themselves in bright panels
of Blondie and Dagwood, stashed
front pages for history’s sake—
Times-New Roman bold font above the fold
declared the end to wars and walls,
quoted Neil Armstrong from the moon.
Where can diminishing dollars serve
the most good, cause the least harm?
Financial flames singe gossamer wings thin.
Only one chrysalis lands at the foot
of the last gravel drive on West Johns Hill.
Two readers still unfold its spare span.
We scan columned patterns for light
not already fluttered from screens.