A Sestina for Miz Quickly

A Sestina: Rum Dreams

The tide revealed more beach
than I’d ever seen. Dark brimming
waves drinking in sand, and a black
mood of clouds shrouding tears
and chunks of sky. Gusts taking
to air our towels. Umbrellas. We two

women clamped our knuckled two
hands on our straw hats. The beach
emptied. Holiday-makers ran, taking
shelter in huts roofed with straw brims.
A lifeguard watched a water spout tear
toward him. Bounced, poured black

water from the sky, a spin of black-
ness, dark as a mid-winter night at two
when the world’s asleep. Light tearing
through the roof, sand from the beach
pelting at the straw as the roof’s brim
rises and lifts, and the wind takes

possession of our hut. Steals it. Takes
it back, and then dresses it in black.
I hear screams, and I grab at the brim
of my hat. We huddle together, we two
boney-knuckled women from the beach.
A wind howls as dark clouds of tears

empty rain on our heads. A rip, a tear,
and palms falls to the ground. It takes
a minute, maybe two, or ten, for the beach
to settle back into sand, the sky pitch black
to settle back into light, and for our two
hats to float out to sea. Ribboned brims,

spinning and hugging each wave’s brim.
Hats off with the fishes, we shed not a tear.
And it’s 2:00. Today’s 2nd February, 2002.
Not that anyone here believes or takes
notice of omens or prophecies or black
magic. Not here on Cuba’s Varadero Beach.

It was a lazy day in Cuba on Varadero Beach
when my afternoon nap tore fright as a black
rum dream. And so, one more rum I did take.

A Sestina for Miz Quickly. Adieu, madame, et bonne chance, and dVerse OLN
© Misky 2020 image from National Geographic’s Nature Gallery.

15 responses to “A Sestina for Miz Quickly”

  1. You gripped me with this wild story. I too would have had another rum.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL! Glad you liked it.


  2. Yep, one more rum I too would have taken. (My rewrite)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Well……you’ve absolutely hit it out of the part with this, what I think, is one of the most difficult poetry forms to master. I don’t even notice the form, I am so engrossed in the tale. And the ending makes me smile….back to the rum 🙂 These words “we two boney-knuckled women” are just illustrative of the rich details you’ve included here that make this so real.
    SOOOO glad you posted this one to OLN. Loved it! As I always do your work! 😉


    1. Sorry…should say, out of the park! Now that’s a saying for the Just Sayin’ OLN day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Lockdown makes a person do crazy things, like writing a Sestina. Thanks for lovely comment, Lillian.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, this is so vivid! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Lucy. Glad you enjoyed reading it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, Ms Quickly that was some storm! Sorry about the bonnets, but certainly enjoyed the read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Beverly.


  6. This is phenomenal. It is hard to know whether it really happened or if it was a dream. Either way, no one quite can hold the portent of a moment if it was not lived, boney knuckles hanging on as they do, to one another, to some ribbon to hold us to the ground. But if hats can travel, so can dreams. So well done, to make a Sestina read so smoothly, and to have it holding back quietly behind the tale. Super!


    1. Thank you so much! That’s such a lovely comment.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Such an exciting read. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome.


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