Poetry Corner KB Ballentine Final Call pic

Final Call

For Jodi


Pelicans pulse the air,

glide low over the ocean.

Surf trembles, trenches the pebbled shore,

saw-toothed rocks disappearing —

tide coming in. Salt coats my throat,

and two crows argue with the wind.

California summer. 62 degrees and spray soars,

foam sliding back into the sea.

Wind gusts my hair,

but a stillness inside calls you to mind.


City girl, gritty smile at school.

That first year you trudged to the cafeteria

bag hunching your shoulder,

hands plunged in pockets, chin rammed into scarf.

But you belly-laughed at our jokes,

teased as we trumpeted our loves,

recited poetry under the trees.


Too soon, you slouch in a small white room

shrouded in sheets, heart bleeping on a screen  —

four walls your horizon.

The language of friends binds you

to the outside world until an ancient alphabet

sings you home.


A flock of gulls chuffs at the shoreline.

One steps out, catches the wind. A crow follows.


The 2013 Blue Light Press Book Award winner, KB Ballentine’s third collection What Comes of Waiting was published in 2013. Published in many print and online journals, KB has two collections of poetry, Fragments of Light(2009) and Gathering Stones (2008), published by Celtic Cat Publishing. Her work also appears in Southern Poetry Anthology, Volume VI:  Tennessee(2013) and Southern Light: Twelve Contemporary Southern Poets (2011).
Ballentine received her MFA in Poetry from Lesley University, Cambridge, MA. She currently teaches high school theatre and creative writing and adjuncts for two local colleges.
Learn more about KB Ballentine at http://www.kbballentine.com/.

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