Literary Yard

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‘Crossing Across’ and other poems

By: Carl Papa Palmer

Crossing Across

Clear sky, high seventies, hot Seattle afternoon,
Mom smiles from the bow of the Bremerton ferry
filled with those photo posed prior to the launch.

Deck clears ten minutes into our hour ride, too cold
for others, other than her, traveling at eighteen knots
over chilly forty degree water on her first ferry ride.

On the inside bench I watch Dad watching his wife
of fifty three years through the big viewing window
crossing across the Puget Sound on his last ferry ride.

Bavarian Barista

At that first taste,
my initial savoring sip,
smoky, rich, strong,

unlike any anywhere,
anytime I had ever had
and I had had my share,

but this German Kaffee
mit zucker und kreme,
served hot as her smile

suggesting a second cup
for the rest of my life.


Carl “Papa” Palmer of Old Mill Road in Ridgeway, Virginia, lives in University Place, Washington. He is retired from the military and Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), enjoying life as “Papa” to his grand descendants and being a Franciscan Hospice volunteer.

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