This is comforting, this dove's call,
how a moan would sound
without lamentation.

If you take out the grief, old grief
endured for years,
and replace it at last with solace,
with acceptance, with peace of mind;

take out the longsuffering
but leave in that warm contralto
hum like a flute underwater,
a note of hope—
this is what you have.

Don Thompson

About the poet: Don Thompson was born and raised in Bakersfield, California, and has lived in the southern San Joaquin Valley for most of his life. Now retired from teaching in the prison system, he lives with his wife, Chris, on her family's cotton farm in the house that has been home to four generations. Thompson has been publishing poetry since the early sixties, including a half dozen books and chapbooks. Most recently, Local Color, a book-length narrative poem has been released by Kelsay Books along with Keeping an Eye on the Stones, prose poems from Katywompus Press; another selection of prose poems, Nietzsche Wept, is forthcoming from Finishing Line.