Angels & 2 More

By Diane Webster (January 2023)

Crows in Winter
, N.C. Wyeth, 1941



I was driving, always looking
to see what’s out there.
Partly cloudy or maybe
early morning before clouds
burn off the horizon.
A white opaque umbrella-shaped
parachute floats in the sky.
Sunshine brightens it
into a net of lightning shimmer.

Another one, then a group higher,
smaller by distance. But wait.
Birds! White birds swirl in the sky.
Hundreds, then thousands.
Some descend close to the car,
flying a few feet from windows.

Snow geese? Too big.
Swans? Maybe. Never saw a swan fly,
My mind decides swans.
Huge, magnificent, white birds
beside me, in the air above.
I want to take a picture,
but it doesn’t take.

I simply get to experience.
Silent. No bird sounds.
No wings swooshing.

Oh, those parasol-shaped objects?
People float beneath them.
Indeed like parachutes,
but more ethereal.
More like they discovered the birds
while out for a flight,
but they got to experience it in air,
among the flight.

They too were silent.


Hollow House

The house collapses its rafters
into a swaybacked old nag
happier to stand her ground
than crumple her limbs
into lying on the dirt
where she knows she’ll
never rise again.

House windows doze
in half-open awareness
no longer reflective
of landscape outside
and exposing dark
abandonment inside.

The house door still secures
the phantom possessions
of pioneering people
passed beyond prairie grasses
stretching blades to lift
the latch and enter before
the house retires or if after,
a project of reclamation
where grass blades
and horse tails sway in the wind.


Grade School Mates

Alfred’s head was too big for his body,
and he always smelled of pee.
He couldn’t redeem himself
by being an excellent basketball player
or a spelling bee champ.
He was Alfred.
I don’t remember him in Junior High.

Kenny, we called Spider.
He was the only black kid in class;
the only black family in town—
we all liked Kenny, funny.
He probably had to be.
One day we marveled at sights
on science microscope slides.
The boys donated blood and skin,
and we wanted to see
what Kenny looked like magnified.
He was Kenny.

James claimed he could chug
a whole bottle of orange soda
so we made him prove it.
He leaped in our admiration.
He was James!

Someone stole candy from Lavon’s cubicle,
and she was sure it was the teacher
no one liked. Lavon made homemade
chocolates with soap for the middle.
No one stole from her again,
and we laughed at our mind images
of the teacher with her mouth
washed out by soap.


Table of Contents


Diane Webster’s goal is to remain open to poetry ideas in everyday life, nature or an overheard phrase and to write. Diane enjoys the challenge of transforming images into words to fit her poems. Her work has appeared in El Portal, North Dakota Quarterly, Eunoia Review, and other literary magazines. She also had a micro-chap published by Origami Poetry Press.

Follow NER on Twitter @NERIconoclast