2 June 2004 | Vol. 4, No. 2

A Solar Flare Is Expected

                                        – October 24, 2003

Not the northern lights or the atom's first splitting.

Not the backyard, the tree, or the fence.

Ladybugs landed all day in everyone's hair,

An invasion.

And the sun's southern lights promised to stop all cells

For just one minute.

This is not the way or the way after this.

We have been instructed to move quickly, think abstractly,

Write concretely,

That today would not be

A good day to walk on the moon.

As if this could happen.

Some days for thirteen hours,

The time it takes for someone to make love,

Take a shower, sleep, and then leave

For work, I think of you.

Some days I only think for ten minutes

About the time it takes

For the body

To say goodbye

To the spirit—the

I won't miss you.

And yes,

Lemons were saying, only just last night,

There is always a next time.

I am writing again

Out of you

But without you, ok, just your body.

Manic father, filigree of light,

It has been too long since you left

For the next solar system.

It has been forever since you washed your hair

And showed up on my doorstep

In South Carolina,

In the snow, with no shoes on, having walked miles

And miles

To tell me the cold never felt so cold

Where you've been.

About the author:

In May 2000 Mary-Catherine Ferguson received an MFA in Poetry from Arizona State where she studied with Beckian Fritz Goldberg, Norman Dubie, Jeannine Savard, and Alberto Ríos. Mary-Catherine completed a second Master's Degree in Art History at the University of Southern California in May 2003. Her undergraduate work was completed at Bard College where she worked with John Ashbery, Ann Lauterbach, Robert Kelly, and Elizabeth Frank.

For further reading:

Browse the contents of 42opus Vol. 4, No. 2, where "A Solar Flare Is Expected" ran on June 2, 2004. List other work with these same labels: poetry, editors' select.

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