From the backseat of a station wagon
I listen to a dragging cassette tape,
soprano voice morphing into alto—
a singer bemoaning unrequited love—
and the moon is a scuffed marble
resting on the mountain’s tongue.
Even in spring when the creek
no longer freezes, stones beneath
the surface are hazardous as ice—
glass slippers ill-fitted for bare feet.
I pause, my submerged skin
tinted blue, my ankle poised to turn.
A grapevine dangling over the mountainside
can’t be trusted not to break, but I chance it
for a few seconds of fear and exhilaration—
a fledgling bird first taking flight.
I know the treatment was successful
when a sepia tone lifts from my vision
like an exorcised ghost. I can see
the white pine’s Kelly green needles,
and a sloping mountain ridge, once cobalt,
paints itself indigo before my eyes.
M. Stone is a bookworm, birdwatcher, and stargazer who writes poetry and fiction while living in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her writing has appeared or is forthcoming in San Pedro River Review, Star 82 Review, UCity Review, formercactus, and numerous other journals. Find her on Twitter @writermstone and at writermstone.wordpress.com.