Poetry

“November”

Lake Michigan looms
outside the frost and fog.

Don’t worry. You don’t need to have been to Michigan
to see it.

Picture that gleeful bastard—Winter—chasing
Demeter underground, Persephone waiting in sweatpants and
a pomegranate-stained hoodie.

Picture
blue-glazed water, cold enough to kill.

Picture tardy geese frozen in place.

You don’t need to go there to see it.

Picture
the tomorrow
of our discontent—we
chink, chink, chink with our icepicks of art
to free one stupid goose.

And it matters to that one.

It matters.

 

 

“Nova Scotian”

Scraggy as the greygreen rocky shoreline, the old man

with his dirty cap askew walks his brown, scruffy, limping dog up the stony path.

The ragged stubble and the sinking skin of a life

mirror the rocky coastline and the slow,

inevitable,

tide.

And the limping brown dog whose beard is turning white lifts his leg, and the old man scratches the ass of his dark blue work pants and thinks I will take him in the boat today. Too old to bark at skyrats, too tired to chase…anything. He looks up at the old man and thinks Home.

Weathered red paint of the fishing shacks cracking into view, and the old man sees them. This is how they’ve always been. And nothing I will do can change them.

Children question his deep, long lines and young men answer them saying Someday I’ll know what he knows.

And young girls think I wish he were my father.

And women ripe for life think Someday a man like that will love me.

My Reading of “Nova Scotian”

“Ruby’s First Time on the Beach” (published in Barbaric Yawp January 2005)

Tiny round arms and legs darting warm and waiting, moving full force toward the white waves, Ruby runs.

The long and lanky brown boys wait for Ruby to dip her small pink toes into the emerging flood delicately, gently, but into the thunderous foam, Ruby runs.

Mother catches her brand new golden straps, Ruby laughing at the gull scream and sunbake. Let me RUN, her round face says, uplifted to the mother.

A waiting, hopeful face is dragged back to the safe tan sand. Mother looks down lovingly. Questioningly. Let’s run INTO it, the tiny face says.

The brothers are building sand castles. Jumping, twittering, needing waves, willing and strong—Ruby runs.

Mother runs with her—holding—keeping—protecting. But Ruby breaks away. Ruby makes the wave. Alone.

Mother, open-mouthed, silently yells for help. The lifeguard starts. The brothers look and see—for the first time truly—the waves. That tumultuous beast-mother we are all born into and from. And the mother manages an out loud cry. The blueyawning movement terrifies. The soft sand is no comfort now.

Beating hearts magnify into a pulse of fear and Ruby—laughing—bobs up and squeals, rolling with the living waves. Washed up giggling, into Mother’s shaking arms, Ruby runs.

 

Buy Ponderings, my first chapbook of poetry.

2 Responses to “Poetry”

  1. Lisa-

    I want to re-blog and share your beautiful words but I can’t. 🙁 I am going to share your blog in a post. Enjoy your week at the Guild!

    Delia

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