Fitted Shirt and Flowers in His Beard (after Short Skirt/Long Jacket by Cake)

By Annette Marie Hyder

I want a man with a fitted shirt and flowers in his beard.
I want a man with a rough road and the means to take me there.
We will meet on a trail through the woods when we bump into each other
because we were both busy looking up at the sky.
I want a man who knows where he’s going
with a pen in his hand and the right way of holding it.
He will tilt the world just a bit with the way that he smiles.
I want a man with eyes like pages I can get lost in.
He is pouring his voice out like rain mixed with honey.
He is carrying something with strength and with gentleness.
The fit of his compassion makes me feel shy.
I want a man with a fitted shirt and flowers in his beard.

Not Pristine or Easy

By Annette Marie Hyder

Don’t give me an easy path. I’ll get bored. I want a path cluttered with leaves to kick through and branches to navigate around. I want a steep path that winds and curves like a woman’s shape all up the hill’s incline.When I am moving forward, I want to feel the proof of it in muscle-burn and breathlessness. I want to sweat. And when/if I reach the top, I want the winds that dance on the hilltop to come and play with me, kiss the sweat from my body, and tangle my hair into a messy victor’s knot.


By Annette Marie Hyder

When I think of you I don’t think of leaves spinning
like ballerinas in the air
on their way down to the ground
having let go of whip thin branch
and wearing brilliant colors,
so beautiful a compensation,
for what they must portend.
I am not ready to see you in gold and red
(it is not your season yet)
when green is so fresh
and is the way I always picture you —
new and bright and trembling,
shaking in perfect synchronicity
with me.
We whispered the moon down.
We made a susurration for the stars.
We told each other that when the time came
to let go of our branch
we would hold hands and jump with joy.
But now this, the possibility
that you might jump before me
has me thinking of all the ways
that I can keep you, in gratitude,
in the forest of my heart
and listen any time the wind of your spirit
blows through me
chiming all the leaves within your touch.

Chanteuse Moon

By Annette Marie Hyder

I saw the moon’s creamy throat this morning
a long curve swathed in silks of blue.
I heard her song.
She is a crooner
and if you don’t like her voice
then you are no friend of mine.

Mermaid With Leaves in Her Hair

Digital artwork by Christian Schloe
Poem By Annette Marie Hyder

The fish darting on the water’s surface —
the gold ones, brown ones, red ones and orange —
turned out to be leaves
swirling in the current of the coming season
and nibbling on the minutest memories of summer.
They were wet and pliable from the water
no brittleness breaking apart in her hands
so she braided them like liquid feathers
in her hair.
She lost them soon
as she swam through her underwater kingdom
and even the memory of him, of summer,
swirled away
to catch, one leaf at a time, on coral branch
and in the seaweed trees.
And that is a good metaphor for why
she disappeared from his life:
their leaves grew and flowers blossomed and fruit came
on trees so different as to be from different worlds.



This one route that I had to work over and over again — Route 52 — had a Chihuahua dog on it. This Chihuahua dog had a heart like a balloon — not a balloon filled with helium or air but a balloon inflated with hate. His heart was so filled with hate that I thought daily that I might witness it burst and see him collapse in a heap behind the fence that separated him and his fury from me.

Friday was my last day on Route 52. I pulled up two houses down from C.D.W.H.F.H. (Chihuahua Dog With Hate Filled Heart) and noticed a dog that looked JUST LIKE HIM out in the neighbors yard — that he shouldn’t be in. What’s more, this dog that I saw had his little head tilted up and his nose pleasure deep in smelling a large tulip which draped down invitingly to his short-legged height. He had to really tilt into it to sniff it.

Could that pleasure loving dog sniffing a tulip be the C.D.W.H.F.H.? I watched him for a moment and then opened my door. The noise alerted him to his audience and that his audience was ME. Yes. It was C.D.W.H.F.H. and he instantly transformed into the crappy little bugger that I knew so well. Barking with all his fury and madness at me — and that wasn’t even his yard!

His owner called him over where he belonged — behind the fence he had somehow escaped. And that was the last interaction we had.

So today I started a brand new route. I kind of missed the horrible creature, C.D.W.H.F.H.

(Image via