Two Poems by Shei Sanchez


Bald sycamores spear the sky,

   their stark white, a cold vein 


against the neck of day. Wind 

   knifes the river’s rind, scratching 


summer’s old soliloquies -- farewell, 

   farewell. Ripples hurry toward the bend 


where autumn’s light and winter’s burden 

   collide. Sunlight squints open the cloud’s 


lamina of silver gelatin. Briefly, warmth 

   tenders us all, wakes us to this fleeting


life. Briefly, we remember we’re not 

   the ones who tame this world.


Letter for Home

You smelled of mid-autumn dew, a burnt ochre swirled 

in the wet mouth of morning. The aging acer ached 
toward you, almost prostrate, as you danced against 
the waning light of rose, peach, apricot. I listened 
to your waltz as my skin puckered beneath thin layers 
of fabric: a raiment jewelled with heat, the Mekong, buds 
of a leelawadee. Metal & exhaust wafted from my pores, 
the syncopated streets of Bangkok still baked into my bones. 
You welcomed me anyway, to a new home, unhurried 
with each dawn & dusk, each frost & flower that followed – 
even as I stumbled upon you, stepped over every family 
of burdock, moss, cinnamon fern growing on you. Each 
footprint on your body, an imprint on mine. Even when 
illness felled my own body, you nurtured that part of me 
that surrendered, breathed fire into it, let it burn 
until I stood alive again. Eight years close to the day 
you took me in, I still smell your dew. I still hear you 
dancing, the maple rooting me to your song.

Shei Sanchez's work has appeared in Main Street Rag, Change Seven, Gyroscope Review, Women of Appalachia Project's Women Speak Volume 7, and other fine places. She also freelances for the local paper, The Athens News. She lives on a farm in Stewart, Ohio and works for a health foundation in Parkersburg, West Virginia.