After Midnight

Fog smears the valley,
ribbons of cherry blossoms
pinking dark woods.
Your memory tempts me,
lures me into the mist
where a grouse cackles,
something scampers in shadows.
Tiger lilies line the road, lead me
in bursts of orange this dull day.
Rivaling these mock suns,
a robin sings, doesn’t nitpick
dawn’s delay—
the way ahead unclear.

K.B. Ballentine’s work has appeared in numerous journals and publications, including Alehouse, Tidal Basin Review, and Haight Ashbury Literary Journal. A finalist for the 2014 Ron Rash Poetry Award, she was also a 2006 finalist for the Joy Harjo Poetry Award and was awarded the Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Poetry Prize in 2006 and 2007. Fragments of Light (2009) and Gathering Stones (2008) were published by Celtic Cat Publishing. Her third collection, What Comes of Waiting, won the 2013 Blue Light Press Book Award. For more information, please see

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