Haley Hendershot received her MFA in Creative Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts. Her poetry has appeared in Fredericksburg Literary and Art Review. Currently, she is a dual enrollment English teacher for John Tyler Community College at James River High School. She lives in Richmond, Virginia.
Peony Picnic at Tuckahoe Plantation
packed with folded pink layers
that hide a yellow powder
I know is there
wrinkled tissue paper
wet puppy tongue
dense bud afraid to bloom
in this week’s overcast drear
this must be what my womb is like
fragile stem holding a tight little ball
crawling with ants, I still cry
every month when I begin to bleed
Bear Creek Lake State Park
Our tent is surround by minivans
and short sleeping bags, stuffed animals
held captive indoors until today.
A game of tag expends a tiny
portion of endless energy. No need for a
jacket in Autumn air. They poke
the embers while their weak young arms try
not to drop hot dogs into the ash.
I wonder if they’ll step too close to the flame
and if they sleep side by side,
mom and dad on the outside edges for
warmth. Do they need backs patted
or hands held to fall asleep?
In the middle of the night, a tiny scream
Then soft voices lull all the tents back into dreams.
Our cooler has no juice or milk, just beer.