a Women Writer's' Showcase
by Diane M. Hampshire

I sit and stare at them on the table by the open window.  Tall, slender green stems thirstily drinking the water, cradled in a glass world the color of twilight, topped by vibrant red heads; scarlet poppies in a blue vase.  They pulse with life, the color of blood, as I sit and brood.

I picture them wild in a meadow against a clear, cool sky dotted with wispy bits of cotton.  The wind strolls by, and finding them so pretty, must stop and ask the crimson lovelies to dance.  Ruby poppies pirouette in response.  Cherry pinwheels in a blueberry sky.

Floating on their motionless sea, fragile papery petals belie their true strength.  Crooning silently, they lull me to sleep, cast me adrift in a world of soft, safe dreams.

Footfalls on the steps hurry me back.  A key slips in the lock, begins to turn.  I stare at the scarlet poppies in a blue vase and plead, "Sing me a lullaby!"

Diane M. Hampshire lives with her husband and young daughter at the edge of the high desert. Semi-retired from a fifteen-year paralegal career and the constraints of its structured language of law, she now revels in writing fiction.  Contact Diane.