Pris Campbell – Four Poems


This old, no-longer lover
enters my dreams just to taunt me.
He wants to make me want him again,
transmute what time has erased,
make me believe I could have turned
our tin into gold, had I wished,
with one enchanted swish of the pan.


Fried Green Tomatoes

Dressed in familiar blue robe,
slide-on slippers beneath,
my father fried them–
those yummy green slices
from his garden,
dipped in egg yolk and cornmeal,
then eased into his sizzling cast iron pan.

I watched from our kitchen table
each autumn visit back home.
(He never trusted me not to undercook
or burn)

Sometimes a laugh or song
on tv drifted from the next room.
Mother was never a devote
of our late night tomato pig-outs.

We ate as fast as he cooked them
until, bellies filled, we collapsed,
house warm and locked against
the storm moaning outside.

I was a child again
for that little while.
Safe from that angry storm.
Safe from far larger storms, too.


Sara Flies

Sara flies out of her body
at least once a month.
She doesn’t see angels, Buddha,
John Lennon, or a tunnel
of white light.

She’s not afraid.
This was her safe place in days
she’s almost forgotten now.
It’s quiet here and the sky
moves through shades of purple.
The stars shimmer like raindrops.

Sometimes she makes love with a man
while he sleeps, knowing he’ll wake later
still wanting her warmth enclosing him,
hair tickling his face.

Sometimes she visits families,
watches how they eat, fight,
hide secrets.

Ever so often an old man appears.
He’s see-through like she is.
She thinks he’s her protector.
She wonders if grandfather sent him,
his ticket to rise out of hell.



You’ve only known me
with my body slain and
curled deep into soft spaces
dreaming of billowing sails
bike rides, hair flying,
along dawn-pink ocean swells.

You’ve only seen me with my brain
in under-drive, thoughts short-circuited.

A turtle could outpace me now.

Soil from the grave dropping
to reveal your translucence,
you speak to me of days
we wished we would have had together,
days when our bodies were unbreakable,
minds yet unseared by loss.

I reach out my hand to console air,
tell you we’ll  still have those days
when our ashes both straddle the wind.