Richard Widerkehr

Sun Shower 

– from a window in Poipu on Kauai

Act 2, Prelude by Charlotte Salomon, from Leben? oder Theater? Ein singspiel


We never had a peach tree.  Words, lies, centuries,
.     my sister said.  We saw the green light inside
the waves near Barnstable.  They spilled,

slid with a hiss.  Mom’s skillet.  Wind blew mist
.     off the next crest.  Now these small, transparent suns,
not droplets. No meds, bro, she said.  The doctors

want to destroy my liver.  When I look in the mirror,
.     a man wears our father’s suspenders. Remember,
Dad told us, Saint Stylite prayed for years

on his sky pole.  You were a leaf in the sun,
.     the seventeen names for wind in Wailua.
Now you’re the bride of silence.  A small girl

in yellow does cartwheels in the sun—the wet
.     ash-gray palm trunks almost shimmer


About the writer:
Richard Widerkehr’s work has appeared in Rattle, Writer’s Almanac, Verse Daily, Atlanta Review, Arts & Letters, and others. He earned his M.A. from Columbia University and won two Hopwood first prizes for poetry at the University of Michigan. His latest book is In The Presence Of Absence (MoonPath Press). Widerkehr also has three chapbooks and one novel, Sedimental Journey (Tarragon Books). He reads poems for Shark Reef Review.

Image: Act 2, Prelude by Charlotte Salomon (1917-1943). This piece is an homage to Vincent van Gogh. From Leben? oder Theater? Ein singspiel. Gouache on paper. 32.5 x 25 cm. Between 1940 and 1942. Public domain.