Ron Hickerson

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1000 Years with Mattie Keith

I spied her there across the room
Shining like a burst of sunlight—
The auburn tips of curly brown 
Hair made her look backlit, just like

Monica revealing she’s an
Angel, sent by God. I want to
Go talk with her—to know her and 
Figure out why her joy is so

Infectious, but I hold myself 
Back. I have long been taught 
Graham’s rule prohibiting espoused
Men from talking with women not

Their wives. And this rule has often
Made me question my own motives.
A voice: “You just think she’s hot, and 
You’re hoping for what she can give

Outside friendship.” And thus the pure
Desire is defaced, painted 
With nefarious brush strokes. Poor
Sweet summer child! You’ll make it. 

When I think about heaven now, 
I think of all the time we’ll have.
There I’ll receive the grace to know 
The people I wished I could’ve 

Had the courage on earth to love.
We’ll get 1000 years to tell
Our stories amid echoes of
New adventures—free from the spell

Of worry. Whisperings will fall
Quiet. Intimacy will rest in
Surety that this world’s beautiful
And unshackled from our ruin.

Wavering on water

What does it feel like to walk on water? Is it as firm
As the Earth or semi-solid, wobbling around like some
1950s Jell-O dessert? Do you have to move to 
Stave off sinking, like how non-Newtonian fluids lose 
Their shape without force acting upon them? But I suppose it’s
Not Physics that’s the ruling law here. The Word approaches.
Can you feel the movement of the man walking toward you?
Do the ripples emitting from each step tickle your toes? 
Will my feet get wet? After all, I won’t break the surface
Tension, but my commencement unveils the demanding dance.
The rolling tide challenges my balance and pushes me 
To tread on the ridge of a rising wave, like a pulsing
Tightrope. If I trip, then how will I land? Will I flop hard 
Against the surface, or will it engulf me like a bed?

Ron Hickerson works in higher education where he helps students navigate the murky waters of academia. When he’s not at his desk, you can find him wandering around campus, looking for the oldest trees. His previous work can be found in The Clayjar Review and Foreshadow.

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