Nebraska Center for Writers

by Anita Norman

Winterspell Fifty winters are gone
and tonight a pink and peaceful
sky shrouds our white sleeping
city, a train rumbles by
and brings to life
on the window ledge
a transmitter, my father's,
now mine, all his years
a telegrapher who knew
the news that was for others,
the gamblers and their bets,
the down-on-their-luck needing
money, the War Department's telegrams.
A code, and with the softest touch,
he passed the messages along.
Words come in this winter night,
for me at fifty and from father,
the very last he was to speak,
one sentence that was sent to us,
his only manuscript,
I'm not going to quarrel,
he quietly said,
with God.

Reprinted with permission
from Whole Notes,
Copyright © 1991
by Anita Norman

by Anita Norman

Uninterrupted the telling,
how fledglings in the soft
morning mystically tuned
sail off from the cliff
to the open blue water,
and some fall to foxes
or too close to shore
where sea gulls catch
them. Daylight
stretches and ends
along the horizon,
the sun has fallen and
I have placed in the
window a scrap of
paper, a sign for the
children to come home.

Reprinted with permission
from South Dakota Review
Copyright © 1988
by Anita Norman

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