Diary Entry on the Run – by Yvette Schnoeker-Shorb

Dried lilacs swell
like purple flame
crushed on paper,

a notebook, a pen,
the storm, deep in
wine—a pause, alone

here, the desert;
I’m floating
into almost night.

Hiss to the snake,
chatter to scorpions,
tell the dashboard rose

whose saved flesh
is the color of salsa
I won’t be dancing

in darkness again
where clouds grow
low and growl

against a thinning
horizon, for I’ve had
too much scarlet

lately, and the stars
are starting to cry
tears onto my page.

Yvette A. Schnoeker-Shorb’s work has appeared in the American Journal of Nursing, Clockhouse, the Jungian journal Depth Insights, Watershed Review,Terrain.org: A Journal of the Built and Natural Environments, and other journals, with work forthcoming in Mount Hope Magazine, Ginosko Literary Journal, Weber—The Contemporary West, and others. She has been an educator, a researcher, and an editor, and is co-founder of Native West Press, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit natural history press.

Photographer’s Note: A snake image appears to be a literal photo choice; however, I used it figuratively to sum up both the good and evil depicted in this poem. The close-up of the rattlesnake signifies the speaker is taking control of her life, facing her fears head on. She has the power to overcome the evil demons and venomous threats to her happiness. She is ready for change, ready for improvement, ready for healing, which is the positive symbolism of a snake.