James Ducat

Where Did She Go?

I ask aloud, almost midnight,
alone on the porch,
and a gust blows the carport

light on, wafts orange
blossom past me.
That unborn fruit,

which may never deliver
juice or more trees,
dreams beyond desire into taste.


The Santa Anas

Across a continent, decades ago,
a malevolent wind took
the house from over
my mother and infant brother .

They clung together in the roofless cellar –
the house landed a block away.
From that day she opens doors
and windows at any wind,

a celebration of nature
I thought, until
I saw her fingers
dig into folded skin.

Now, a percussion of leaves
and branches howl
in disharmony.
Didion’s gale scrubs the air,

polishes mountain lights.
I breathe in
the dust like insanity.
This dissonant foehn

groans through the house,
and my toddler wonders
if our walls will cave.
I lie to him: the wind is singing.

The wind is singing.
We go outside,
wrapped in a blanket,
arms clinging in atonal warmth.

James Ducat received his MFA in Poetry from Antioch Los Angeles. His work has appeared in Word Riot, Specter Magazine, and others. He teaches writing at Beaumont High School and at Mt San Jacinto College. He lives in Redlands with his son (not coincidentally, also named James) and 12 fish, the largest of which is called Bob.