Sandi Stromberg


My apologies to the displaced wildlife
for obliterating the wooden deck,
for taking away your comfy lairs. Dead
leaves. Tired dirt. Forgive me,
beetles, spiders, centipedes
scurrying for refuge.

My apologies to the pipes,
corroded by chemicals and time, decades
of iron-red water lingering
in your passageways. Forgive me
for pulling out your galvanized hearts,
implanting PEX plastic.

To the snails who have nibbled holes
in the roof’s shingles, I apologize.
How could you have known your feasts and
summer picnics wouldn’t last forever.
Forgive me for having you scraped and scrapped.

And to you, venerable water heater
who served for 28 years, forgive me
for having you carted off
for a younger model. Forgive me house
in my search for new beginnings
as we age together, just the two of us now.

The clock strikes 4:30 a.m.
I sit at the window, staring
into darkness, dawn still far away.
A bird begins to sing. But
no chorus answers. There is only
this dark solo that might be grief,
to match my own, or a soliloquy
to the day’s possibilities.
If this were Shakespeare, I would expect
Romeo and Juliet’s chagrin.
Hark! Hark! The lark!
But such deadlines no longer
govern me. Love has come
and lived a few years in this house.
Now there’s me and this bird
I cannot name. His trills,
his unexpected song.

Sandi Stromberg has been nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize as well as twice for a Best of the Net. Her poetry has recently appeared in The Orchards Poetry Journal, Panoply, San Pedro River Review, MockingHeart Review, Woodlands, The Ekphrastic Review, New Signs for Old Symbols: An Ekphrastic Anthology, 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.