Elise Hempel, "Mosaic"




That little island with a single palm-tree

(its cluster of coconuts that never fell),

the simple wings of an ever-flying gull

in a sky with one white cloud.  So carefully


I glued the shining tiles from that kit

and made a yellow circle for the sun, 

a sailboat on a sea of waves, each one

a neat blue frozen peak.  And, done, I fit


myself into the scene—that distant, timeless

place, my own small beach, diminutive

hut of glass where I'd forever live

in my shorts and ponytail, fixed happiness.


Elise Hempel has recent poems in Midwest Quarterly, Potomac Review, San Pedro River Review, and Evansville Review, among others.  Her chapbook, Only Child, was published by Finishing Line Press.