By Patricia Wellingham-Jones

Next to the road amid burned oaks,

seared dirt, a grotto stands. Its back

wall a lava rock high as a man’s neck,

jagged, lichen-scorched

from recent fire. Side walls—piles

of the rough stone, cairns balanced

at the end of each wing. Inside the hollow

propped on a slab of cedar bark

flowers riot in red, orange, pink paint.

The Virgin of Guadalupe nestles

with photos in crevices. Rosaries, strings

of plastic flowers, toy trucks dangle.

A perch for ravens and quail, open

to wind and rain, the grotto calls forth memories

of all those who never returned home.


Patricia Wellingham-Jones is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee, author of Don’t Turn Away: Poems About Breast Cancer, Apple Blossoms at Eye Level, and Welcome, Babies as well as editor of Labyrinth: Poems & Prose. She has been published widely in print and online journals and anthologies.


Loss  | Vashon | Services | Art | Poetry | Store | Contact

© 1999 KotaPress All rights reserved.  ISSN 1534-1410
Please direct comments regarding this web site to