Sheila Dougal

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“Some anniversaries” read by Sheila Dougal.

Some anniversaries

after reading Cyndie Randall’s poem, “J”*

On his way in the Ford to the dentist off the main boulevard past the adultery where she used to work out five days a week. All those Jeeps and Chevys. No one would have or could have seen where her car was, or was it her truck there in the adultery lot? When the adultery buzzed and she went downstairs to lay on the adultery and engage in a text thread with her sister, he shook his head to get the adultery off. Those years are at the bottom of oceans under a rickety old bridge they’re still trying to build. But some anniversaries the adultery gets high and the banks, though reinforced with therapy, full access to each other’s devices and lots of hard conversations, start to erode and muddy its waters. Today the baseball game is out in Adultery on the other side of the valley. She says, “You don’t have to go.” But he refuses to give up his seat near home plate just because adultery could have a game here today too. And he sits next to her and remembers the promise he made and Hope that’s stronger than the grave and adultery.

*Randall, Cyndie; “J.” the minnesota review. 1 May 2022; 2022 (98): 18.

“For life” read by Sheila Dougal.

For life

See the gray wolves side by side
Caressing, nuzzling for life
Walking down the darkened aisle
In the emerald forest chapel

Look, the Sandhill crane
Serenading in his best dress
Swinging his hips
While she nods and dips

See the she-beaver
Among the wetland reeds
Sending a letter
Perfumed in fallen leaves

Look, that woman
Beaming in his eyes
Not ashamed
To give their love another try

See the Man on a tree
Crying, “Why have you forsaken me?”
His blood-grain falls to the ground
See his vine sending out

Look, that Bride! Here she comes!
All the nations as one
With the wolves and the cranes
The beavers and the betrayed

Sheila lives in the low deserts of Arizona with her husband and sons. Her poetry and essays can be found at Fathom Mag, Clayjar Review, The Gospel Coalition, Risen Motherhood, The Joyful Life Magazine and other publications. You can also find her at her blog, Cultivating Faithfulness, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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Photo Credit: “2012/366/364 Driving Off the Edge” by Alan Levine, CC BY 2.0, via

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