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She’s Come Undone
Stepping out of the pool
wearing nothing but a dare,
she looks around.
No roofers in sight,
only the neighbor’s cat
curled under the Mimosa
and a gecko doing pushups on the fence.
She crosses her arms in front of her
covering herself like a shield.
It’s the Pilgrim in her you know.
Then slowly, she drops the facade,
lifts her arms wide
and does breaststrokes in the air.
The stars aren’t even out,
high noon howls at her back
as she glides this way and that,
barefoot in the sun,
pirouetting in grass that’s still green
until the scarecrows come out.
A hawk flies overhead,
his high-pitched keeee calling her
to join him.
She takes off across the yard
and decades fall behind her,
shedding the years until she is five
and running through sprinklers.
Diving into the blue,
she torpedoes through the water
propelled by an energy
she hasn’t felt in years.
When she comes up for air,
she spots two lily pads of cloth
floating nearby…the discarded suit.
Flipping on her back,
the buzz of a light plane catches her attention.
And she laughs at the moment
when she defied convention.
© Kathleen M. Rodgers
Johnnie Come Lately deals with the repercussions of a heat-of-the-moment confession, an absent mother, a son’s enlistment during wartime, and second chances. Johnnie Kitchen battles insecurity and doubt but never lets failure win. She comes from a family that is good at keeping secrets. Her mom has been missing for years, and she doesn’t know why? Maybe the statue at Soldier’s Park knows the answer. Or, the bird that calls her name?
About the Author:Kathleen M. Rodgers’ stories and essays have appeared in Family Circle Magazine, Military Times, and in anthologies published by McGraw-Hill, University of Nebraska Press/Potomac Books, Health Communications, Inc., AMG Publishers, and Press 53. In 2014, Rodgers was named a Distinguished Alumna from Tarrant County College/NE Campus. Three of her aviation poems from the book Because I Fly (McGraw-Hill) were featured in an exhibit at the Cradle of Aviation Museum on Long Island, NY.
Seven Wings to Glory is Rodgers’ third novel. Her second novel, Johnnie Come Lately, has garnered four awards: First Place Winner for women’s fiction from Texas Association of Authors 2016 Best Book Awards, 2015 Gold Medal for literary fiction from Military Writers Society of America, Bronze Medal for women’s fiction from Readers’ Favorite 2015 International Book Awards, & 2015 Best Cover Awards from Southern Writers Magazine. The novel has been featured in Family Magazine, Stars & Stripes, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Morning News, Southern Writers Magazine, and on “”The Author’s Corner”” on Public Radio. The audio edition is narrated by Grammy® Award-winning vocalist and Broadway Actress Leslie Ellis.
Rodgers is also the author of the award-winning novel, The Final Salute, featured in USA Today, The Associated Press, and Military Times.
She and her husband, Tom, a retired USAF fighter pilot/commercial airline pilot, reside in a suburb of North Texas with their rescue dog, Denton. The mother of two grown sons, Thomas and J.P., she is currently working on her fourth novel and is represented by Loiacono Literary Agency.
Buy the book at Amazon.