January Pearson – Three Poems

JPearson 0037 - Copyanuary Pearson lives in Southern California with her husband and two daughters. She teaches English Composition classes at Kaplan University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in The Lake, Four Chambers Press, Capstone Literary Journal, Haikuniverse, Darling Magazine, and Logia Theological Journal.

If I Had Umbrellas for Legs

I’d float along a dreamy lake
and save the day when a boat loses its sail.

I’d use my legs as drum sticks and play drum solos in a pinch.

If I had umbrellas for legs, I’d say goodbye to thunder thighs and cellulite
and wear skinny jeans without shame.

I’d nix all shoes, shoe shopping, shoe matching, shoe squeezing, shoe blues.

I’d save a bundle on pedicures and spider-vein treatments
and enjoy feet and legs that never ache

or feel any sensation at all.

If I had umbrellas for legs, I’d let my kids play “little piggies” with my fingers.

I’d wear a long skirt when meeting new moms at the park.

I’d pretend to be comfortable on the airplane and wonder
Would my husband have liked my stubble-free legs now?

If I had umbrellas for legs, I’d miss the feeling of sand on my feet
and the brush of his hand on my leg under the table.

Standing on the driveway, while puddles gather in my umbrellas,
I’d realize he’s gone

and everything that matters would be the same.

After 17 Years of Marriage

We are still sitting on the couch
but our knees don’t touch.
Kids are in bed.
We’ve been arguing since daylight,
the moon’s halved light now shining.

Neither of us will give in,
your mouth a pinched line,
shoulders an edge.
And I’m mad. I can hardly remember why,
Why not leave? Why not stand up
turn on my heel
and walk out the door?

I’d drive to the ocean, window down,
wind whipping my hair
music blaring
teenager happy
following the coast
until the sun came up.

How grown-up we felt
when we drove all night
to the little ocean town
in the days when we bragged
that we never argued
and laughed at the moon’s tilted grin–
we couldn’t see beyond our joy.

My knee lightly touches yours.
I point to the moon in the window.
You half smile.


Sun tints the windshield,

sagebrush and sand pass us–
blur of hazel and dust.

You say something
about the moon

how long
an eclipse lasts,

when a butterfly blinks
against the glass

its tiny angles
a splash.

In my garden
I find them in the yarrow

intricate wings float
flower to flower.

Now, on the window,
its body a streak of dye,

flecks of paint
from a brush,

yellow as sunset.



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