Umbrella’s lighter offshoot

Melissa Balmain

has been a featured poet in Light Quarterly; her poems have also appeared in The Formalist, Measure, The Chimaera, amd Mezzo Cammin.

She is a two-time finalist for the Howard Nemerov Sonnet Award, and recently became a director of the Foundation for Light Verse.

Her nonfiction has been published in many magazines, newspapers and anthologies.

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Déjà Blue

When leaving for a family trip,
I feel my spirits start to slip
before our plane’s ascended;
I see us sunburned, flying back
to clean our house, pay bills, unpack
the fun already ended.

While watering a perky row
of daisies on my patio,
I dread October’s freezes
and picture every stem turned brown,
each shriveled leafstalk hanging down,
each petal gone to Jesus.

I can’t enjoy my toddler’s coo
without the thought that soon she’s due
for angst and boyfriend trouble;
I can’t admire my son’s smooth face
and not foresee a nasty case
of zits and razor stubble.

And yet, whenever I get stuck
in traffic, meetings, roadside muck,
or something else unpleasant,
imagination’s doors bang shut
and I’m marooned in nothing but
the godforsaken present.