by Julie Sumner

As my mind catapulted between this wire to that wire,
springing from groundless spark to groundless spark in a frenzy
of what-ifs, how-comes, and whens, I caught the powdery sweet
scent of Winding–my Grandmother’s favorite. And there she was:
dressed entirely in pink, giggling and oh-graciousing
at some story of Uncle John’s. For the first time,
I noticed the wrinkles on my knuckles as my hand
rested on the Walgreen’s checkout counter, how
the afternoon sun fell on the cashier, her temples
feathered with blue veins as she smiled back at me.

The New Shiny Thing

The New Shiny Thing
by Julie Sumner

Just the waiting
That leads to the getting
Of the new shiny thing
Begets a nervous, fervent
Energy. The customers
Jumble and bump into
A herd like so many sheep,
Emerge from the store
With their boredom clean-shorn
By the new shiny thing.

Meanwhile, the silver maple
Attends to his roots caught
In the cracked sidewalk,
And his leaves unfurl
Their white-furred
As the south wind collides
With free-flowing streams
Of midday sunshine.


Here is a poem about heroes and history. Odysseus is the hero of Homer’s Iliad, and also the name of a giant crater on Saturn’s moon, Tethys. For a great picture of the moon and its crater taken by the Cassini spacecraft, check out this link: .

by Julie Sumner

Branded a hero,
lover, fighter,
con-man, king–
his storied life
an echoing blow
resounding through eons,
even now
orbiting Saturn
in memoriam:
a bullseye in monochrome
scarring a frozen moon
with nearly circular
why is it
that only violence
leaves such an

A Change

A Change
by Julie Sumner

Chasing down the road,
I choose, for a change,
To stop–
Stop the car
Stop the presses
Stop the madness.
There is the musky-grass smell
Of last night’s storm
Still held in the air,
The hills to the west
Roll greenly down to meet
The dried meadow of rye,
And standing unreasonably still
I finally begin my lessons
In flight.