Lyndi Waters

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POETRY

The Problem with Dreams

In my dream the cottage
was topped with thatch.
The sound of the ocean
was all around,
but I knew it was really it was the Lord
reciting a poem
over my shoulder.

It was an elegant poem about hope.
A gauzy white curtain fluttered.
A sharp gust made it touch
the edge of the bed
and he disappeared.

I pulled him back
with a poem about faith,
since that seemed to be the only way
to feel his breath on my shoulder.

Halfway through
the neighbor’s dog barked
and he was gone again.

I had to wake
to feel him everywhere.


But Then One Day I Pushed on the Gate

The mind is as impressionable
as a veal calf being led down an alley
by the sight of the calf in front of her.

A bolt stunner gun waits at the end
but she doesn’t know that,
is thrilled to death for the change in scenery.

Two rows, ten calves long,
with nothing to do but look
at each other through the rails.

At predesignated times
a red rubber nipple pops in,
meant to simulate a mother.

The calf gets to suck down milk replacer,
meant to simulate nourishment. It flows
down her chin pretending to be the real thing.

She feels full for a while afterwards,
especially when the farmer’s little boy
reaches in and scratches her behind the ear.

She forgets all about the green pasture
she can see through open barn doors.
That’s what the subconscious does,

a creative accommodation of sorts
designed to help you stay motionless in a box.
Before I returned to the church,

I could hear cathedrals cry out
to me when I drove past,
but I didn’t stop.

I thought the gate
would be locked
so I forgot.


The Gardener Wants to Do Something About the Prairie Dogs

The prairie smells of enchantment
since my return to the church.
I ascend the steps as someone gives
the bell in the tower a few rings.
Bulbous droplets of rain fall like tiny sandbags
onto the bowed heads of last year’s yarrow,
soaking sagebrush weary of pushing back
on nature’s cold indignities.

The morning light stretches out
over the barking heads of a prairie dog town
that sprang up along the south lawn
a year or two ago.
God’s little clown puppies
popping in and out of the world at will,
no choice but to spread
porous destruction
in the name of their own instincts,
oblivious to how the rest of the world
can fall into the hidden traps
of their innocent tunnels.

Not unlike me when I thought
my faith was a given like blue eyes,
would play itself out however
it played itself out,
even if left to chance
through a dark winter—
or that wet spring
when bean seeds rotted in the ground.


Lyndi Waters’ poetry is published or forthcoming in numerous literary magazines and anthologies including Agape Review and Spirit Fire Review. She is a winner of the Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Writing Award, the Eugene V. Shea National Poetry Contest, and is a Pushcart Prize nominee. Lyndi lives in Wyoming.


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Artwork: “A cottage with thatched roof in Douarnenez” by Maxime Maufra, 1898. Public Domain.

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