Miranda Phillips

Into the West

Alberta is a blank sketchpad

to the eyes trained for neon lights and mishaps

labeled modern art, unable to see past

their tawny smog and blue lights—this is a private gallery.

A winter’s sunrise stroked pastel lavender

by the blackbird’s feather drifting above a cerulean lake

dusted with glitter. Strands of shredded cotton balls

curl upwards from the silent surface.

The ridge of mountains sprayed

deep forest green. The graffitist’s thumb slipped on

the nozzle as he turned to call back to his friend. Changing cans,

spritzes of sunshine fall gently on scarlet leaves.

The roads etched in charcoal,

long and straight. Halfway through, the child’s hand

grew weary of gripping the two yellow crayons

and he wandered home for a snack.

A herd of cows blotted cream and chocolate in oil pastels,

trembling in gnarled fingers on a nursing home porch.

Just a smear as they graze high in the hills.

The crimson orb dips into black soil, tugged by the flick

of a rainbow tail under the ice, stars poking through

the thickening cloth of night until the moon

is our only spotlight.

Miranda Phillips is a creative writing major at SUNY Oswego. When she isn’t working on her novel series, Miranda spends her time discovering new scenic routes, watching hockey (#mapleleafsforever), and loving on her rescue horse during breaks in her home state of Maryland.