The Promised Land

by Kimberly Potter Kendrick

On the edge of the cliff I cowered

Jagged rocks, narrow path

Green fields of lilac and sunflowers

The strength of the mighty river below

One more step, could I fly?

A bird, yes, not I

It’s not what I desired

Turning back I cannot fully remember the whole journey

The poppy fields began my trek

The precarious trail drew me

I walked slowly

I climbed over stones, branches

I walked quickly

Blinders covered my eyes

Mesmerized, I proceeded

I searched in caves, under fallen trees, between boulders

It seemed never again would I discover the source of the enticement

Uncertain as to what I sought, but it’s enchanting song I heard

Follow me to the promised land.”

Mystical, charismatic; it coaxed

On the perimeter of the magical field began the dirt and gravel course

I began my climb upward

Arduous hike exhausting

Obstacles lie in my path

Those who had gone before me

Weary faces

Each still clutched poppies in their hands

Looming storm lead to heavy showers

Continuing my ascension

Periwinkle poppies dropped at my feet, most extraordinary I had ever seen

Catching my breath, compelled to forge ahead

Puzzled as to the reason

Unable to rationalize the pursuit of poppies, poppy seeds

Nearby the pathway’s end

Envisioning the fields beneath

The secret of the poppy sought

Standing on the peak, noticing how appealing the world below

Wilted poppies held in my shaking hand

Echoing off the highest point I again heard the call, the song I barely perceived

Wanting to return to the lilacs and sunflowers; exhaustion overtook me

From nowhere, a voice whispering, “Let me take you to the promised land.”

Bewildered as to why I trailed the poppies

Poppies vowed enchantment, instead bestowed bondage

The voice gently encouraged my departure

Guiding me slowly downward a step at a time

At the base of the mountain, I gasped

The poppy fields awaited, inviting me once again

Obliviously dancing, picking flowers of pink, white, red, yellow

Lying amongst the poppies the voice was clear

Sleep beckoned me, but the draw of the call unyielding

Enslaved was I, unaware of the prison which now surrounded

Lost, lost to the Promised Land

What had I become?

Life’s widow, poppies’ bride


She Doesn't Like Me

She doesn't like me

How do I know?

The look in her eye

The heard, but unanswered words

Unkind actions calling out my pain

She doesn't like me

I’m just a few minutes of her twelve hour shift

Pennies in her paycheck

She digs the knife deep

My tears unhidden, streaming down my cheek

She doesn't like me

But I say nothing

I know not of her

I know not of her anguish

What happens when she clocks out?

What makes her so hardened?

She doesn’t like me

I will pray for her

I ask myself why

Only wasted time

The truth doesn’t matter

Maybe it’s the day

Reasonably her back hurts

Maybe her best friend passed away

She doesn’t like me

I will not retort in anger

I will look into her eyes

I will smile

Say a kind word

She doesn't like me

Is it only me?

Is it the day?

Will the me be someone else tomorrow?

I have no answers, only questions

I wonder momentarily

She doesn't like me

Perhaps I remind her of her mother

Only a moment in the passage of time

My time to dwell has come to an end

She doesn't like me

I’m not certain if I like her