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Cathy Coley



Migraine has subsided a bit.
I’m outside.

It’s a beautiful, breezy afternoon.

These days happen from time to time.

If I were up north, it would seem like

summer leaning into fall, a breeze to blow in winter from the sea.

But there’s no winter in its warmth.

It’s freshly baked bread

coming out of an oven.

A day for a sail,

a walk in the changing gold and

grey light of clouds passing quickly

like time reels on film.

It’s the kind of day and temperature

that warms your skin

so you smell the hint of bandaids that don’t keep on your knees.

January in North Carolina bringing back Augusts in Connecticut

with roller skates and bicycles

and the anticipation of school starting soon.

That last escape before routines,

buzzers take over again.

But it’s forty-five years,

several states, and two seasons away.

I would look up toward the sun and clouds,

but the migraine still

has control.

A villain, knife at my eye,

daring me to live.

I want to drop the rumination of past,

move forward into this new year.

But here I am, keeping my eyes to the ground,

hostage to thoughts instead of action.