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by Diane Webster




Starling Couple


After the lawn watering

a couple of starlings

swoop in to find

what goodies they can find.


Pink pavers and railroad ties

might hold hidden seeds

from now-stored bird feeders.


One starling steps on a wet, dead leaf

which sticks to its foot.

It high steps and shakes

its foot to rid the sticky leaf

like someone wearing one snowshoe

floundering around in snow.


Finally, it reaches down with its beak,

plucks the leaf off its foot

and looks at its partner, “Yuck!”




a line, (a short blue one)





I sit atop the slide --

a lifeguard guardian


Watching for Grandpa’s car

I know is coming;

today the green car turns

into the driveway where I wait.


The telephone rings;

my aunt calls

because I am the caller ID

before anyone knows what that is.


My mother paints the ceiling

with a bucket of paint in one hand

and jokes she’ll drop the paint on me,

but I know she’ll tip it all over herself,

and I watch her clean up the mess.


Judy tells me if I walk

with a dead grasshopper

in my hands behind my back,

it will disappear.

To prove it, she walks

and shows me her empty hands,

but when I try,

the grasshopper remains.




a line, (a short blue one)



Fog Overflow


Fog overflows the canyon banks

and floods the rim road.

A car snorkels through foam;

headlights feeble against the tide.

Black cows drift by like dislodged boulders;

white cows snag the fog against hides

in barely visible grazing

heightening danger of one lying on the road.

The road curves around the canyon

now a fog beach beckoning a wade,

a wade from road to land’s end…




a line, (a short blue one)



I Am A Ruler


I never measure up,

not over twelve inches.

Good for regular snowfalls,

but super storms I’m buried –

never capable of exactitude.

Each inch records 1/16 depths

of growth along

my rigid foot length.


Foot-long hotdogs,

foot-long sandwiches,

a human foot

never a foot.


I am a ruler

of my twelve-inch domain

measured by short,

long lines, inch by inch

a perfect ruler.




a line, (a short blue one)



For Real


People stare at the blurred

reflection of the woman

in the mud puddle lying

on the sidewalk cement.


They squint in an attempt

to see clearer but all

a muddle of shape and

color smeared in abstract.


Never knowing

if they look up

she stands separate

and focused for real.



a line, (a blue one)


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