Home About Us Features Write Now! Submit Resources


by Carol Barrett

In The Center lobby, clear water
plunges over lava rocks, swirls
in a penny-laden but shallow
abyss, then threads its way 
to a mild splash, bubbles bouncing 
beneath streaming lights. These falls
never sleep. Signs guide us to The Rivers
Waiting, The Desert Waiting, please
have insurance card and proper ID ready.
Beneath this cool oasis, surgeries gush
and trickle to a close, blood of the fated
washed clean every evening
by figures in blue gowns and gloves.
The Falls fulfill the creator's intentions,
roll us along to another place, where
the mountains above Lone Pine
loomed large as the future.
We dashed from camping trailer
to roll our love-made bodies
in an early snow. Glazed. Stinging.
Within reach of scattered chairs,
some of these stones were set 
in cement, laid here to mimic 
those murmuring in memory.
But they try to look real, as we try, 
harmony sifting with the light: 
a day without melanoma, every cell 
kissed by snow, the only shroud, 
blue sky streaming over desert.

Carol Barrett holds doctorates in both clinical psychology and creative writing. She teaches at Union Institute & University and at Saybrook University. Her books include Calling in the Bones (Ashland Poetry Press), which won the Snyder Prize, Drawing Lessons (Finishing Line Press), and Pansies, a work of creative nonfiction (Sonder Press). "Waterfall" emerged during her former husband's treatment for advanced stage melanoma.