An azul sweater picked up
at church fair belonged
to a slender woman. Strands of shoulder
length blonde hair weaved in
with yarn.

I imagine her soft hair fell
to earth one at a time,
in shower, and caught by this
sweater in daylight.

My friend let go
of her hair in peace.

Pine needles dried and fell
on her festive rug. We called it the Rojo rug.  
She swept them up after Christmas.
Her hair interlaced with broom.
The bare tree, her shiny scalp
warmed by her fireplace.

“Look at these white mountaintops!”
Her trembling index finger pointed, “We hiked
them all. Didn’t we?”  Her voice,
a whisper of woods.

I pull strands of holy blondeness
at a church basement, as I did with
the broom.

Stretched over
my head an azul sweater
of a woman no longer a stranger.
I wore hiking alone three months later.

Jerrice J. Baptiste 

Jerrice J. Baptiste has authored eight books. She has performed her poetry at numerous venues including the Woodstock Library’s Writers in the Mountains series in association with other noted female authors and poets in the Hudson Valley, NY. She has been published in the Crucible; Typishly Literary Journal; forthcoming Autism Parenting Magazine; Gyroscope Review; So Spoke The Earth: Anthology of Women Writers of Haitian Descent; African Voices; Chronogram; Shambhala Times; Hudson Valley Riverine Anthology; Her poetry in Haitian Creole & collaborative songwriting is featured on the Grammy Award winning album: Many Hands: Family Music for Haiti, released by Spare the Rock Records LLC.