. Rondeau The rondeau echoes its refrain in a subtle way, just as rain at times will fall, not in torrents, but in a fine mist, the wood fence, weathered gray, resisting the stain of water. So, the reader’s brain, lulled, may not at first sustain the expectation and suspense __the rondeau echoes. But, as drizzle will soak the lane, darken the fence, and bend the grain, so the rondeau, with persistence, proves itself, though gentle, intense. Across cultivated terrain __the rondeau echoes. . . Thriller The world teeters daily on the brinkof disaster: mole-men burrow beneaththe White House, suicide bombers slinktoward the Hague, thousands squirm in the teethof giant mutant rats. The clock ticks. Music swells. In the dark we savor the dire—its salty taste, the mesmerizing flicks—while humanity walks the high wire. We know that in the eleventh hour will yetappear the Man of Steel, the FBI,the brilliant, gorgeous woman of scienceto save the world. And then the true suspense: the lights come up; we step, with blinded eyes,into our own lives without a net. . . Lament from the Ash Grove Not ever the cordons of elms did we envyTheir militant presence along city streets.We cherished the streamlets, the bluebells, the valleysWhere played little children, where lovers would meet. How sudden the spread of the deadly contagion,The felling of elms, and their vacated posts; And called up to duty as if by conscriptionWere we, the fair ashes, as sentries and host. Our branches, so graceful, now rustle in sorrow. The past never ceases; again it upsprings,For now, few are stricken—far more on the morrow— By death that comes stealing on emerald wings. How often we listened to sweet voices singing,How often was lauded our broad leafy dome. Now sadly these voices dark sorrow are bringing.No more save in song will the ash grove be home. . . Rita Moe’s poetry has appeared in Water~Stone, Poet Lore, Slipstream and other literary journals. She is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Sins & Disciplines and Findley Place; A Street, a Ballpark, a Neighborhood. Now retired from an investment firm in Minneapolis, she lives in Roseville, MN.