Karla Linn Merrifield
What conundrum of skin & sun?
She’s wearing her SPF 50 sunscreen & sun hat,
taking her Vitamin D supplements. Plenty of sunlight
though with adequate protection on that old face-up sunflower
girl. No sign of sunburn, no sun poisoning.
She is her own sunshine, her only sunshine—
she sunbathes
as if she were the bikini babe en soleil,
oiled, glistening, yet those sunny
days long ago, the sun-cloaked
Riviera days, sans UV, sans ozone hole, sans sundial
measuring minutes of exposure to sun-streaming.
rays. Hers is again skin soaking in innocent sun.


A nine-time Pushcart-Prize nominee and National Park Artist-in-Residence, KARLA LINN MERRIFIELD has had over 500 poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies. She has eleven books to her credit, the newest of which are Lithic Scatter and Other Poems (Mercury Heartlink) and Attaining Canopy: Amazon Poems (FootHills Publishing). Forthcoming from FootHills isBunchberries, More Poems of Canada, a sequel to Godwit: Poems of Canada (FootHills), which received the Eiseman Award for Poetry. She is assistant editor and poetry book reviewer for The Centrifugal Eye(, a member of the board of directors of Just Poets (Rochester, NY), and a member of the New Mexico State Poetry Society, the Florida State Poetry Society and TallGrass Writers Guild. Visit her blog, Vagabond Poet, at