Tuesday, July 1, 2014

small poems: june 2014

two large men — bearded and bald —
stop to breathe in

heavy rain
I am not afraid
the leaky roof was repaired last week

from the other side of the country
my mother's laugh
finds me

a young girl
picks a bouquet 
of chocolate mint / /
muddy footprints
fill that small patch of garden

sister — do you remember —
each tentative step
from shore to sea

we wait for the ferry
a well-packed picnic basket
at our feet / /
one of us
thinks only of death

black and white photo
your yellow sundress
in my mind's eye

when we hug
your cheek bruises mine —
so much has changed this last year

leading me down the middle path
yellow butterfly
here you are again

my father and his cigars
still together
after all these years

crossing the wide avenue
don't let go

first bunch of radishes
the veins on my hands
more pronounced

once I thought
all black birds
were the same / /
what will I laugh about
next year?

in my Brownie uniform
(and beanie)
how special I felt / /
we stuck cloves in apples
and called it Arts & Crafts

on my bookcase
a basket of seashells
coated in dust / /
years and miles from the ocean

make room
for African violets —
breathe slower

after ballet class
we stand in 1st position
my sister and I . . . .
that is all
we remember

fish tank
in our building's lobby —
mother says 
they're sleeping —
dad mouths the word 

I bring chalk —
my friend has a bottle cap —
we play Potsie 'til the light fades

growing out of a crack
in a Bronx sidewalk 
the first dandelion / /
mother says
"it's like living in the country now"

if I walked through puddles
instead of around them
would we ever have met?

mid June
I spend the whole afternoon
drawing flowers

slow walk
through birdsong
my body is healing

broken sidewalk
I meant to take a different route —

viewing us 
from behind his camera
Grandpa never says "smile"

buried in the dream garden
and your broken old guitar

re-arranging my bedroom
Kwan Yin
is everywhere

beside the hall mirror
mother hangs a photograph
of herself

purple shawl across
an unmade bed —
so many yesterdays

the untuned piano
flowers dying in the vase
even the mail is late

scrabble tiles
photos of fake ancestors —
good day at the flea market

guarding the entrance
to our apartment building —
two carved lions
and the neighborhood bum

my father's lost record collection
still mourned
65 years later

before bed
polishing the whites of
our saddle shoes / /
my sister and I 
long for patent leather sling-backs

they called her the Cat Lady
she was kind to me 
my great-aunt Helen

next door:
a man and his fish tank
(and his lonely wife)

after a hard rain

new morning
stepping around
my same old fears

waking three times in the night
always the same

walking into the morning fog to clear my head

a perfect mushroom
at the bottom of the stairs

you toss it into your straw hat —
my wildflower bouquet

two clouds
meet each other
for the first and only time

I waited all night
for you —
mauve breeze

we don't have a Special Thing, I whine, 
bemoaning our lack of daily ritual. 
Not having a Special Thing is our Thing, 
Blue says, 
wise owlwoman that she is. 
After a pause she adds, 
our Special Thing is loving each other 
every day

my dear little city
today the mourning doves
weep for you

creekside walk
I stop to watch a rabbit

pink rose
pushing through a spider's web — 
my neighbor's front porch

first night in a new city
same old moon / /
watering the coleus

I went looking for you . . .
you found me

left at the side of the road
a 5-drawer dresser
so much emptiness