She changed from her wedding dress,
tossed her engagement ring,
slipped into a travel suit,
turned her Mustang toward Hot Springs.

She checked into the cabin
last night at nearly ten
close to the magnificent
Garden of the Pine Wind.

She had waited at the altar
for a groom who never showed.
Her tears barely slacked enough
for her to see the road.

Yet, she determined she would
make the best of this.
She swiped her hand across her lips
and wiped away his kiss.

In a room for honeymooners
occupied by only one,
she awoke to dazzling sunbeams
when the day had just begun.

She went down to the springs
where Native Americans ceased
many battles by the mystic waters
and reconciled in peace.

She wondered about De Soto
who once stopped here to drink
the warm and healing waters
filled to his canteen’s brink.

She bet betrothal money
on thoroughbreds at the track
and tried hard to forget
that handsome Bobby Jack.

Although her heart was breaking,
she would never let him know.
She lit her own peace pipe
down on Bathhouse Row.

She boarded a plane
as soon as it was night.
She cried herself to sleep
on an international flight.

And if Bobby tries to find her,
she knows he never can
in Hot Springs’ Sister City,
Hanamaki (Hot Springs) Japan.

© Freeda Baker Nichols

Death of a Newborn

The shining light
flicks its radiance faintly
to pain-filled, anguished eyes
and goes out
before the voice can laugh,
or the feet can run,
or the heart can pound
with eagerness to embrace
a loving world that reaches strongly,
then turns broken-hearted
to the still and empty coldness.

c Copyright 2012,  Freeda Baker Nichols