Cynthia Anderson

Scenes from a Marriage

I wed the one

most like myself—

my mirror image,

washed and trimmed.

No one could fault

the rightness of it—

how he grinned,


how I matched him,

beard and heart.

Each day I clipped

the captured shell—

sometimes to win it,

sometimes to give

it back. He was hard

to know beyond


what you saw was

what you got,

a dandy dressed

in lacy white.

I indulged his whims—

it pleased us both.

Until it didn’t.

You know the rest—

the long haul, the rocks,

the wreck.

A voyage better

not begun, but one

that made me.

I learned what

I was and wasn’t—

and kept my own

counsel at the end.


Two ravens fly in tandem,

so close they almost collide.

They swoop and glide against

the vault of heaven, full

of backlit, biblical clouds,

plying the wind as the sky

darkens. There’s a storm

aloft, clouds bruised blue,

swollen to the north—

while here the sun plays

with shadows, like ravens

play with air, teasing it

and each other in this dance

where neither quite touch.

You watch. Your heart

wants to open, you know

this much. Before

your world snaps shut,

you would call out,

hover, let the gale

sail you away.

Cynthia Anderson lives in the Mojave Desert near Joshua Tree National Park. Her poetry collections include In the Mojave, Desert Dweller, Shared Visions I and II, Mythic Rockscapes: Barker Dam Trail, and Mythic Rockscapes: Hidden Valley. She frequently collaborates with her husband, photographer Bill Dahl. Cynthia co-edited the anthology A Bird Black As the Sun: California Poets on Crows &