by Linda Barrett

Alex on His Guitar
@2016 Linda Barrett

He got it as a gift from his father
On Christmas Eve
The acoustic guitar of deep mahogany
Cost around $500
But the owner put it on sale
At $300.
Alex’s father learned to play it
From his half Native American mother
Decided it was another interest for Alex
As well as his son’s first love of fishing.
Alex played it at our Christmas Day gathering
Strumming its delicate strings
Until he got the sound right
When he plays it slow,
It flows like a spring stream
Freed from the captivity of winter
Rolling down rocks
Carrying freshly awakened fish
From their frozen slumber
When he plays a fast song,
It sings of adolescent frustrations:
Hurrying to class
To escape a detention
Or impressing a girl he likes
But he can’t find a way
To make her notice him
Listening to him play,
It’s wonderful
That he’s able
To express his persona
Through music.

The Path of a Young Man
@2017 Linda Barrett

You love the placid face of a pond
Or the rolling white foamy heads
Of an unfettered woodland stream
You always bring your rod and reel
To catch the fish within those waters
You search the forests and woods
Searching for their untapped treasure
Most youths your age find delight
Seated before a television screen
Or surfing not on unruly ocean waves
But on the overpopulated Internet
You hail back to a long forgotten time
When the world bloomed free of man
Take this everlasting but endangered path
And lead those technology enslaved
Back to save and preserve nature.

August Notebook
@2014 Linda Barrett

It’s August
Amid a thousand notebooks
I look for a specific color
Of blank book
To match the month.
Which one demonstrates
Summer’s last month?
My journal should be
An orange
A fiery color for the waning days
Before a solemn September
One that signifies
Clashing with pink
Blending well with purple
Flashing with white
Glimmering with gold
I want an orange for August
As hot as an afternoon
Just before a sudden shower
My book should be
Brilliantly colored
In the manner of an 8 P.M. sunset
Garish like an artificially colored
Orange soda
It should fit that color scheme
So that I will remember
How August made me feel
Whenever I wrote in its pages.

Born on Wheels
@2012 Linda Barrett

You always lived on wheels:  
a newborn infant
perched in a car seat
beside your mother
when she drove
her 1973 Green Impala
The toy Knight Rider car
was your first one
It cursed at you
from its imaginary dashboard
You hummed your
open road song
while holding onto
the sides of the red wheelbarrow
as I bumped you in it
over the stones in
our backyard’s stone walkway
Out in Chester County,
you roller bladed
and skate boarded
into adolescence
Every Spring Break,
You traveled in your
grandparent’s station wagon
down to Florida
One Winter,
you drove to Colorado
by van
to snow board the mountains
Other guys chose college
you took your mechanic
grandfather’s cue
studied up in Boston
learned to fix cars
inside and out
then put them
back together again
You inherited the
Green 1973 Impala
with its torn off
vinyl top
let it go to rust
and to the junkyard
then bought a red 1968
Ford pick-up
Your mother bought
you a motorcycle
so you could scream
down the Turnpike
With your Independence Day spirit
Nothing out on the road
Can stop you
As if you were born
On wheels

Butterfly Woman
@ 2014 Linda Barrett

Out of
Cancer’s Cocoon, you struggle
From caterpillar to chrysalis
Fight what’s eating at your body
Emerge once again fully healed, ready to
Fly again

About the Author:

Linda Barrett’s passion has always been writing. Ever since she was small, she has had a pen in her hand. She lives in Abington, A suburb of Philadelphia, Pa. She is involved with two writing groups and her two churches. Her work is featured in various print and on-line publications.