Poetry - February, 2010

Poetry

11-Sep-09

Sat by the river for a long time making sure it was still working.
There’s a pile of finches in the currants stuffing themselves silly.
This one finch slurped so many berries he could hardly get aloft.
He sort of lurched off the branch and lumbered into the holy air.
It seemed like the other finches were razzing him but maybe not.
He fell toward the river like a huge currant covered with feathers.
You have to grin at the greedy green thrilled persistence of it all,
You know what I mean? Because there are finches in the bushes,
Exactly so. What could ever be a more eloquent prayer than that?
Poetry

The pastor's wife considers purgatory

My Pittsburgh son haunts thrift shops,
collects old rosaries, hangs them on nails
down cellar, near his bathroom door.

Buried with their best crystal rosaries,
crocheted among their fingers,
all those old ladies trouble me
when I consider how their every-day
rosaries were taken by their daughters
to be entombed in gold, pasteboard boxes,

until years later when the daughters
were readying for their move
to Florida (for the sake of the mover’s bill)
lightened their load by donating the darker
contents of their dresser drawers to Goodwill.



Poetry

Reunion

She’s on life support. Racing to get there,
his Jaguar fishtails on the frozen highway.
She was a beauty and elusive as the future,
his mother, usually traveling on his birthday.

He felt he couldn’t fly, had to touch dirt
every inch of the way. To fly would be
to unpeel too fast the onion of his hurt.

She’d call. He wouldn’t answer. He was busy.

Now it’s ice he notices, gray molars
locking to dark bluffs, the way ice locks his heart
in steely winter logic. Then sun shimmers
on ice, the lock breaks, and love flows. Relief,
oh melting! as he steers toward his mother.

The syllogism that still might end in grief.







Poetry

Little hall

The labyrinth here, as well!
A canvas floor
copied from Chartres, brought through
the open door,

unfolds its whorl (and stains,
old wax gone gray
with candle soot or soles
that walk to pray).

Long formal curves begin
a common pace;
my shoeless feet take off
through living space . . .

So many rooms—for me—
a vast hotel—
eternity’s
reserved a little hall.