The Works of Dorothy Fletcher 

Dorothy K. Fletcher recently retired after 35 years of teaching high school English in Jacksonville, Florida. Her poetry has appeared in over 80 literary journals, and she has published three books. In 2006 she won First Place in the 2006 Robert Frost Poetry Contest, and she was invited to read her poetry at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC in 2006.

All Poems © Dorothy Fletcher

Last Words

"It is very beautiful over there."

-Thomas A. Edison

My father's old bony fingers

hold out pennies to me

or maybe even dimes.

It could be a pinch of tobacco

for his smooth cherry wood pipe

or maybe just a piece of fluff

picked from his trousers.

But it doesn't matter.

I cannot see what he holds.

I cannot feel the silk neckties

he's trying to put on

in front of imaginary mirrors

nor can I taste

the apples slice so juicy

that he puts to his lips so dry.

Old gestures die hard

as old men die hard

in front of eyes that cannot see

the magic of the world that's

slipping through fingers'

or a world lying just ahead

just beyond reach

with fields of youthful pleasures

and sunshine streaming.

You're my daughter!

he announces

as if he'd been looking

for just the right words

then he closes his eyes.


in a renovated convent cell

    in France where I slept one night

    tall arched windows welcomed

    moonlight soft into rooms

    once holy with prayer

    it flooded my eyes with sweetest visions'

    gauzy curtains breathing

    arbors heavy with grapes glistening

    just beyond the sill

    within my grasp

    I let the wonder of moonlight

    touch me

    dispelling the notion

    that it would make me mad,

    instead I lay myself out supine

    to receive its fullest blessing,

    all night long I journeyed

    in and out of dreams

    and each time I became aware

    of moonlit air around me

    I was amazed and wondering

    how such loveliness

    could cause a soul to cringe

    or take the demons in

Summer Girl On December 3 


Frost is killing the crab grass.

At last I am free

from the tyranny of weeds

choking the tender grasses

their blades now asleep all winter

hopefully rising up green in spring

and bidding me to lie down

in their splendor. Still,

it is hard watching

the summer fade away

like blue jean blues. 

Distant memories are

the crickets' songs

the cicadas' banter

while my Florida

heater clanks and bangs

discordant sounds trying

to make the air warm inside. 

Outside cold silence and dead grass

are all that's left of the summer.

Windows try to keep the warm in

the cold out. Too bad the glass

does not bar the winter sadness

that comes in on chilly wings

like the freezing blue jays

trembling at the feeder just beyond.

But I will not let the sadness settle

as I sip my hot tea

Beach memories take hold of me

like gentle waves rising to the crest

lifting me up just before the spill,

and patience is a beach towel

I wrap around cold shoulders.