Annette L. Grunseth, Green Bay, views life with a "poet's eye" while balancing time with family, career, and writing. Moments of camping, skiing, long walks, and meditating create a feast of words for poems and stories which have appeared in previous WFOP calendars, Fox Cry, Touchstone, and The Door Voice. She is a member of WFOP, WRWA and SCBWI.

Door County

cherry red sunset
drips over the horizon
dessert of the day

Copyright Annette Grunseth 1997

Forest Angels I

Next to the back door
I find blue magic marker
scribbled across family message board:
"Dear Aunt Polly, Huck and I
went fishin", Love, Tom,"

my boys have taken the lonely dirt trail
along the East River
pedaled their bikes into the woods
to a bend in the river swollen with spring

purple wood violets lead the way to their
secret island where they play "Huck and Tom"
fish with worms, dangle their legs from
a tree leaning over the river
carp swirl, tumble around the logs
virgin white trilliums grow either side of the riverbank

Copyright Annette Grunseth 1997

Forest Angels II

watch over my boys
as they scramble over logs to their island
protect them from the deep spot in the rive
keep their campfire friendly on the muddy shore
keep "Huck and Tom" safe from harm
in their wooded sanctuary this summer

Copyright Annette Grunseth 1997

The Inheritance

You were sent to French shores at 21
a dentist serving your country
fixing the horrors of ammunition
trained in healing not in war

Your son flew over Japanese shores
the only one to carry on your name
shooting pictures not enemies
flying reconnaissance diving
low in the nose of an unarmed plane

No one saw you cry when they came
to the door to tell you "missing-in-action"
no one could imagine your pain of not knowing
living with his portrait and medallions
framed upon the cherrywood coffee table.

Your first-born grandson flew to Southeast Asia
you fought back tears he fought back Viet Cong
and lived in the stench of burning flesh and wasted life.

Today your first great-grandchild was born
I hug Crisco-slick newborn warm
on my tummy and feel a chill
"It's a boy"

Copyright Annette Grunseth 1997


The official Chesapeake Bay retriever of St. Joe's
barks and whines like a hound on a hunt
fetches large slab of Niagara escarpment
from Kangaroo Lake as if it were her most prized bone

I heave another fossil-filled limestone chunk
into the lake it splashes into chilled
almost-November water
Scamper leaps into the lake
whimpers at the water
plunges head in past her ears
like a pelican that dives head first

she extracts the exact rock thrown
carries it up the bank
drops it at my feet
among dozens of other large rocks
that litter the shore around me

you know, it's hard to find
a really good rock hound!

Copyright Annette Grunseth 1997

Summer Boy

Wired with energy
you sprint across backyard
chase red ants into sandy holes
pick fistfuls of "Johnny-jump-ups"
hit a ball and run bases
around four green maple trees

in the shadow of a tired sun
your tanned frame drops into bed
on clean sheets dried smooth with summer

body perspires
breathing sounds deep
legs jerk
like a firefly you glow
left-over light

Copyright Annette Grunseth 1997

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