Light Has No Mercy

      –for Donald
When the phone rings in hushed stillness
of pre-dawn, before the larks stretch
their songs to the blue, to the blue —
it’s not good news.
You didn’t wake this last week —
eyes closed to fluorescent brightness,
to the pink cheer of painted daisies,
window shades blocked against copper sunsets.
Where were you,
                    wrapped in sleep-yet-not-sleep?
Rain and more rain
while I worked, bought milk and bread
before the storm, caught a cold,
cooked dinner — you channeled
your strength to cross that last bridge,
not looking back even as it crumbled behind you.

KB Ballentine
KB Ballentine has a M.A. in Writing and a M.F.A. in Creative Writing, Poetry. Her fifth collection of poems, Almost Everything, Almost Nothing, was recently released by Middle Creek Publishing. Her fourth collection, The Perfume of Leaving, was awarded the 2016 Blue Light Press Book Award. Her work has been published in Crab Orchard Review and Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, among others. Her work also appears in In God’s Hand (2017), River of Earth and Sky: Poems for the Twenty-first Century (2015), Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VI: Tennessee (2013) and Southern Light: Twelve Contemporary Southern Poets (2011).