Loveland: A Sestina by Sterling Warner
For Jen and John
Early morning Eastern mist and Rocky Mountains
Moisture evaporate as increasing sunrays
Fingered their way across the still sleepy valley,
Urging daylight sounds to thrive, mingle, and wander:
Fresh, fecund, flowers opening, fragrances traveling,
All summer signs seemed perfect for a June wedding.
Lightly packed suitcase guests arrived at Jen’s wedding.
Some star sleepers planned to pitch tents on the mountains.
Expecting to camp and fish after tense traveling
East and west to celebrate amid warm sunrays.
Secretly seeking a mile high then to wander
Dusty western sites haunted ghost towns down valley.
Airport delays, grave foreboding in the valley,
Though people worried heat waves might spoil Jen’s wedding,
Dark clouds approached near and far then didn’t wander,
Rooted to the Rockies, dropping snow on Mountains,
Blanketing earth and campers like icy sunrays,
Bodies presuming mosquitoes’d vex their traveling.
Climatologists forecast tips while traveling—
Patterns unpredictable in Loveland valley.
Hoping sporadic drizzle’d give way to sunrays,
Fearing naught, all plans proceeded for Jen’s wedding;
Even snowcapped peaks on cool, majestic Mountains
Seemed to melt, while clouds like Wordsworth rose to wander.
Some skewered hors d’oeuvres, so did not rest or wander
Before rites began—dances sent them traveling
Back to the airport or highway through the mountains,
Journey’s with brief advisories through the valley;
Minds urged on a calm for the late afternoon wedding,
Undaunted by Sols’ lackluster spray of sunrays.
Bridal and groom parties posed in shades sans sunrays,
Inclement skies caused no cameras to wander
Away; the procession, vows, toasts at Jen’s wedding
Remained front and center, ere guests commenced traveling;
Music resounded like a rich, boombox valley,
Rhythmic dancing feet echoed off granite mountains.
Guests who spread like sunrays began their traveling,
Ceasing to fret and wander around Loveland’s valley,
Down the air-light mountains, following Jen’s wedding.
©2020 Sterling Warner
A Washington-based author, educator, and pushcart nominee for poetry, Sterling Warner’s works have appeared in many literary magazines, journals, and anthologies such as THE FLATBUSH REVIEW, STREET LIT: REPRESENTING THE URBAN LANDSCAPE, BLOGNOSTICS, SCARLET LEAF REVIEW, METAMORPHOSES, THE ATHERTON REVIEW, and VIRTUAL VERSE: AN A& WORDS. Warner also has written several volumes of poetry, including RAGS & FEATHERS, WITHOUT WHEELS, EDGES, SHADOWCAT, and MEMENTO MORI. Currently, Warner spends his time writing, wood working, and salmon fishing.