Sandi Stromberg


for Bill

Red breast puffed out, 
the robin—my morning Pavarotti—
sings the sun into the sky, 
his chirpy vibrato awakening 
Italian operas shared with my husband. 

I walk in a city that now bars 
visitors from hospitals. 
He calls to say 
he ran away last night, tried 
to make himself disappear. 

Dreams leak into his reality. 
Medicine increases.
The veil grows thinner. 
I turn onto a boulevard 
lined on one side with live oaks 

and stumble over the grief 
their thick, aging roots 
have caused—sidewalk broken, 
sharp inclines, perilous declines. 
If I could, I would cross the street.

Sandi Stromberg has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize as well as twice for a Best of the Net (2020, 2021). Her poetry currently appears in The Ocotillo Review, San Pedro River Review, Purifying Wind, The Ekphrastic Review, Visual Verse, formidable woman sanctuary, Still the Waves Beat, various Texas Poetry Calendars, Snapdragon: A Journal of Art and HealingEnchantment of the Ordinary, and translated into Dutch for Brabant Cultureel and Dichtersbankje (Poet’s Bench) in the Netherlands. As the editor of two poetry anthologies, she has been honored to feature the work of other poets.