by Carol Coffee Reposa Carol Coffee Reposa

The poems, reviews, and essays of Carol Coffee Reposa have appeared or are forthcoming in The Atlanta Review, The Evansville Review, The Texas Observer, Southwestern American Literature, The Valparaiso Review, and other journals and anthologies. Author of four books of poetry—At the Border: Winter Lights, The Green Room, Facts of Life, and Underground Musicians—Reposa was a finalist in The Malahat Review Long Poem Contest (1988), winner of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center Poetry Contest (1992), and a winner of the San Antonio Public Library Arts & Letters Award (2015). She has received three Pushcart Prize nominations, along with three Fulbright-Hays Fellowships for study in Russia, Peru, Ecuador, and Mexico and twice has made the short list for Texas Poet Laureate. Named professor emerita of English at San Antonio College in 2010, she now serves as poetry editor of Voices de la Luna.

I have taken on my patio wilderness,
Savage after ten years of neglect.
English ivy tangles power lines
And curls across windows
In an impromptu parade.
Japanese yews shoot
Above the roofline, split shingles,
While hackberries
Heavy with wasps’ nests
Spew their furious red fruit.

A Millennial Eve,
I want to saw my way back to Eden
But the way is hard.
Sweat drips from my hair, face, shirt
In salty rivulets, spatters
On hot cement. Digging out crab grass
Sows a bumper crop
Of blisters on my palms
And I remember Adam’s curse.

Still, somehow
After many angry days
I start to see
Rough outlines of another place:
No archangel
With a flaming sword,
No fateful prophecies
Just a possibility of green
Glowing on fresh-cut branches.

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