Monday, 6 am, Driving - Ginger Graziano

Porch lights glimmer like glowworms.
A lone kitchen light already on.
Someone’s brewing coffee, swallowing comfort.

Solitary man walks his dog,
jogger passes, ponytail swinging ‒
a pendulum keeping time.

I love this time, before night shakes off
its velvet cloak and stretches, before
imagination fades like melting snow.

And yet, black tree shapes looming
on the horizon resemble a tsunami’s silent
approach. Low down, between dark clouds,
a faint glow hints at dawn’s promise ‒
a respite from this chaotic world.

Fires, floods, breakdowns, war.
Glaciers melt, refugees search for safety.
Three friends on chemo.

I grip the steering wheel as I cross
the swollen French Broad ‒ a wild ribbon
filled with broken trees, devouring its banks
like the first mouthfuls of doom.

At the Y, warm water surrounds and soothes
as I circle the pool, backstroking towards dawn.
My brain counts laps instead of imminent
destruction. Ceiling skylights morph ‒
inky black   ashy gray   misty blue.

The rhythm of rippling water
drops me back into my body,
which will end but not this morning.

Ginger Graziano moved to Asheville, North Carolina, from New York City twenty-two years ago because she fell in love with the mountains. She met her husband, Don, hiking, and they have travelled around America, as well as to New Zealand, on hiking adventures.

She raised her children, Jennifer and Jeremy, as a single mother while working as a graphic design director for a children’s educational publisher in Manhattan. They are a source of delight, and her grandson Declan, is an unexpected gift later in life. She has had time to create her dream garden, sculpt figures in clay, and pursue writing and poetry.

Her poems have been published in The American Journal of Poetry, Kakalak, Sky Island Journal, The Great Smokies Review, among others. Her memoir, See, There He Is, was published in 2015. Check out her creative pursuits at