An Online Literature and Art Journal

Doppler Effect

By Cathie Sandstrom

def: the apparent change of sound waves or light waves, varying with the relative velocity of the source and the observer.

            Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary


Terminal C in a city

not on my continent;

a man walking toward me,

his face and long torso so like my

brother and also the odd gait I thought

belonged only to him, a  bold toddler’s

stagger turned to swagger and finally to

what might be called cocky in a shorter

man. He’s full of purpose, intent on his

destination but when he is directly

in front of me I see his shoulders

rounded like our father’s and

as he passes I notice that the

back of his head shows

the inherited family

pattern of thinning

at the crown and

I see this is not

my brother at all

but  my father

and as crowds

close around

him I feel

in my body

a frisson  of

my mother’s

love for him.



Cathie Sandstrom‘s poems have appeared in The Southern Review, Ploughshares, Lyric, Comstock Review, Cider Press Review, Ekphrasis and Caliban among others and are forthcoming in Spillway and Compose. Anthologies include Wide Awake: Poets of Los Angeles and Beyond and All We Can Hold among others. A poem with essay appears in Master Class: The Poetry Mystique. Her poem “You, Again” is in the artists’ book collection, Getty Museum, Los Angeles. A military brat, she still expects to hear from the Pentagon any day.