Taunja Thompson — “Spectral (A Walk in the Park)”

Deserted park lined with ghost houses:
turrets rising to autumn clouds
rusting eaves the color
of thinning umbrage.
Paint    the husk of window frame
and door     pulls away in a pattern
like dried poppies.
A pop and skitter on porch roof—
acorn and his captor squirrel
who lands on oak   slithers over and under
jostles branch causing acorn anatomy
to mottle sidewalk
lid     husk    shard.
Slick black trees bend
like crones caught mid-dance—
their leaves drip from branches
abandon dead arms to sleep
in heaps of moist blondes
and brunettes and blushing reds.
Behind houses valley cambers   slants
unwinds to reveal its tapestry
of mud     stream     walnuts
and leaves in rigor
dried and curled     reaching for sky
that now shimmers like dark opals
between windblown birches
topped with spectral auburn.


Taunja Thomson’s work has most recently appeared in These Fragile Lilacs and Alcyone. Three of her poems have been nominated for Pushcart Awards: “Seahorse and Moon” in 2005, “I Walked Out in January” in 2016, and “Strum and Lull” in 2018. She has co-authored Frame and Mount the Sky, a chapbook of ekphrastic poetry (2017); her chapbook Strum and Lull placed in Golden Walkman’s 2017 chapbook competition; and her chapbook The Profusion is due out in January of 2019. She has a writer’s page at https://www.facebook.com/TaunjaThomsonWriter/.