Sidewalk slicked with rain,

yesterday’s chalk rinsed away –

the heart, the flowers, the naming.

Each meticulous line they shaped

on the driveway – gone, like so much magic.

The sort that doesn’t long let

you keep the smiles, the songs.


Two swallows have staked their claim

under the porch eaves, and each time

I open the door, they startle

into the closest trees. They would have me

use another means to leave my house.

So would I – these days of inside

looking out grow thin. What can I say?


Blue blusters through the clouds,

tumbles them out of the way,

and a weak spring sun peeks through.

The girls come back, consider the blank canvas

of concrete and begin again.




I wish it were that easy –

to erase what was broken, what has passed.

Take joy as it comes, where I can.







KB Ballentine’s seventh collection, Edge of the Echo, launched May of 2021 with Iris Press. Her earlier books can be found with Blue Light Press, Middle Creek Publishing, and Celtic Cat Publishing. Published in Crab Orchard Review and Haight-Ashbury Literary Journal, among others, her work also appears in anthologies including Pandemic Evolution (2021), In Plein Air (2017) and Carrying the Branch: Poets in Search of Peace (2017). Learn more at