by Connie Zumpf
Think of us all together planted
in the same summer garden
snugged in a circle of weatherworn chairs
yellow orange pink blue
heads bent in close spokes on a wheel
inhaling communal air without fear blowing rings
over round cups of bittergreen tea
currents of scent stir in ribbons around us
peony sage rose.
Oh, how a body craves the spark from a body in the flesh
sharing breath from everyone’s words
to see all of you and all
of you and you
watch how you tap your feet shift your weight
hunch forward lean into my space
look straight on at me so I know
we are riding the kite of our confab together
rising looping diving.
We brush elbows and hands passing lemon honey rum
to embellish our brew
draw idle swirls with our spoons
metal clinks on china rims shiver of chimes from the linden tree
take in each other
never taking together for granted again
curls of steam from our drinks cinnamon cardamom
sharp and sweet on our tongues.
Connie Zumpf lives and writes in Denver, Colorado where she is a longtime member of Lighthouse Writers Workshop. Her work has appeared in New Ohio Review, North American Review, Pilgrimage Magazine, The Christian Century, I-70 Review, and other publications. Educated as a developmental psychologist, her poems explore themes of impermanence, aging, and the human curiosity to reach into and beyond the “self we know.” Her poetry chapbook, Under This Sun, was published by Finishing Line Press in March 2020. Liz Baron is an artist and restaurateur who lives in Texas by way of New York City. She and her husband, Jim, founded, own and operate four Mexican-Southwestern restaurants. She got her Bachelor of Fine Art from Pratt Institute but stopped painting when restaurant work and family life consumed most of her time. She is grateful to the online art classes of Sketchbook Skool that helped her regain the joy of a regular art practice.