New Blue Jeans – Karen McAferty Morris (Editors’ Choice)

On the back porch steps in my new blue jeans
I shred some week-old bread for the birds and ducks,
Feel the cool breeze sneak though the warm April air,
Compare my pink painted toes to the azalea blooms
And the dewberry clusters meshed in fine-prickled vines,
See how the little concrete Buddha serenely receives
The wisteria’s embrace and sweet purple breath,
And someone’s new-cut grass smells like wild onions.

Most of the people I love are lost to me now,
Beyond reach, buried, or broken by the past—still
Today I feel I could step into a car with a dimpled James Dean,
A cigarette pack rolled up in his tee-shirt sleeve,
And cruise down a highway in a pointy-cup bra
And a headscarf tied under my chin, and sunglasses.
That’s how it is when you’re wearing new blue jeans
In the spring, barefoot, the noon sun barely making shadows.

Karen MorrisKaren McAferty Morris has always loved the written word. An educator for 30 years, she taught English and Latin in Pensacola, FL. Now she writes, volunteers, and has a line of notecards. She is a member of the West Florida Literary Federation, Pen Women, and Artel Gallery, and enjoys reading, photography, traveling and hiking. She and her husband live on a little bayou that feeds into Perdido Bay.