Issue Twenty-Five - Winter 2015


By Jill L. Cooper

Here are the sacred ties and hedging promises of
young lovers — who don’t know yet,
they are pregnant.
I wanted to paint a story of this couple of
bicycle riders, with their strong backs, pedaling
together to the golden maturing coastline,
and how these cycling lovers are stopped
at a red light; how they will hold each other up
by reaching their taut brown teenage arms across the
space between their parallel bikes, lightly touching each
other’s shoulders, balancing there without ever letting
their feet touch the ground, and then how they squint into
the sun and smile into the soft wind
while just then a sinewy pride in this single shared
accomplishment is pressing the notion of a forever
into both their minds
at the same time.

And here are the holy moments
when her hangnail gets caught in the netting
of an oversized second hand veil, and her sister
is in a fit of giggles about that, or maybe she’s feeling
nervous about the news that
she’ll be a girlchild-aunt; and all the church adults
are stuffed into the living room next to the sobbing
strangers; and how as he introduces the bride
to her future in-laws, slivered
sugared almonds stuck in between the
rubber bands in the groom’s braces
as he smiles.

Copyright 2015 Cooper