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2022 Issue  >  Poetry  >  Reflecting

"Corbel and Joe Pye Weed, 2021, acrylic on camouflage fabric, 34 x 26 inches”
by Richard Moninski


Hannah Duffield

I touch your memory like

A rippling pool

Breaking through the surface

To a light-bathed haze

Of a warm summer day

Feeling the sun’s embrace

And your glowing eyes

Shining down on me.


I try to shake the feeling of

Your arms around me

Sturdy roots to grip 

And pull me, centered

As I pour my worries

Out to you

Like leaves falling from

The red autumnal trees.


I try to smooth the jagged edges 

Of my memories like

Warming up my frozen hands

Stiff from feeling the ice

Melting back to life

The way I wish things had been

And leaving only

The thing that was.


I think of myself now

Like a robin returning

The first sighting of the breed

In the beginning of spring

Flying back to who I was 

Meant to be without you.

I only wish that I had seen

The person who would emerge

When you crushed me like

A still-blooming flower

Confronted with a 

Careless lawn mower

Cut down before her prime.


I only wish I had put

Some sunscreen on before

I jumped into your blinding

Light and brilliance

A facade of warmth and comfort

Only to burn my skin

And marr my soul.


I only wish I had noticed

The change in the leaves

And the warning signs

That something more was coming

Despite how I tried to hide

And how I ran to beat

The unchanging turn of the earth.


I only wish I had known

How the ice would consume you

Nothing left for me to take

And nothing left for you to give

But cold indifference

And a snowy demeanor

And a layer of permafrost in my heart.


I only wish I had been the first to say Goodbye.

Hannah Duffield is a sophomore at UW Platteville majoring in Forensic Investigation. She has been passionate about writing for as long as she can remember and dreams of publishing a novel one day. When she isn't writing, she is found baking or dancing. She can type 85 words per minute.

Trained as a painter, Richard Moninski makes work that explores the systematization of nature, the decorative impulse, the choices between representation and abstraction, and the history and culture of specific places. His paintings and drawings have been exhibited nationally. He resides in Mineral Point, WI.

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