Sandra Newton


Lac Daumesnil (Effet d’orage) by Henri Rousseau

Miguel cut back all the branches
Of things that died recently.
First we had a freeze and then in
Recovery a raging wind,
Murderers rampaging through
Texas like outlaws of the old days.
My loquat stood tall
But died in its roots
The thick, oily leaves turning brown
And stiff
Dead where they lay.
The banana, which every year
Grew quiet in the soil until April
And then pushed joyfully out
To sunbathe,
This year died under the ice
A poor drowned and careless child.
And the hedges that shielded
My life from the prying outside
Standing guard against my window
Simply froze in place
Skeletons of Spring that needed
All that is left is the fig tree
Usually green and boasting fertility by now
Stark, naked, gnarled
An old and undesired woman
That the grackles and jays now avoid
Still I wait
And hope
Desperate for buds to appear
For your pale green fruit to burst
Dripping with a sweet promise
That nothing has changed
All will be well.


About the writer:
Sandra Salinas Newton is a Professor Emeritus of English at Naugatuck Valley Community College. She has two published books: Enjoying the Arts: Poetry (1977) and Enjoying the Arts: Film (1978). Her short story, “The Balikbayan,” is printed in Philippine American Short Stories (Giraffe Books, 1997). She earned her B.A. from The City College of New York, her M.A. from Hunter College, and her Ph.D. from Fordham University. Dr. Newton has attended a number of writing conferences and workshops, most recently with the Writers’ League of Texas. She has also been an art reviewer and freelance photographer.

Image: Lac Daumesnil (Effet d’orage) by Henri Rousseau (1844-1910). Oil on canvas. 37.5 x 24.5 cm. Circa 1898. Public domain.

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