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Lois Parker Edstrom

Lois Parker Edstrom

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Lois Parker Edstrom, a retired nurse, began writing poetry ten years ago. Her poems have appeared in literary journals such as Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Birmingham Arts Journal, Clackamas Literary Review, Floating Bridge Review, Rock & Sling, Connecticut River Review, Adanna, and Mobius. Her chapbook, What Brings Us To Water won the Poetica Publishing Chapbook Award, 2010 and a second collection, What’s To Be Done With Beauty, was published by Creative Justice Press, 2012.

She received two Hackney National Literary Awards, Outrider Press Grand Prize, and the Westmoreland Award, among others. Her poetry has been adapted to dance and performed by the Bellingham Repertory Dance Company.

A native of the Pacific Northwest, she lives off the coast of Washington, on Whidbey Island, with her husband and resident deer, rabbits, owls, and herons. The beauty of the island and her love of art inspire much of her work.

Night Beyond Black

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Poem from Night Beyond Black


I travel east into the Cascades
to a small town my parents
came to as newlyweds,

follow double yellow lines,
the road too treacherous for passing,
search for a small cabin

where I was conceived. More gold
than yellow, the center lines
mimic the hue of autumn tamarack

released of its evergreen pretensions.
The tamaracks flare
above a scud of clouds

draped over the valley,
toward snow-topped peaks.

Carried out of these mountains
curled like a leaf
in my mother’s womb

I unfurled in a different place.
Return is like seeing the negative
from a long time ago,

a bright image that remains
for an instant
after you close your eyes.

Other Poems Online