I had this strange ritual when I was an undergraduate. Well, I had several, but the one I’m talking about was what I did early in the mornings, before I went to my job at the Monroe County Public Library.
“I believed only air
stretched between the dogwood
and the barberry: another
thoughtless human assumption”
“They are fleeting.
They are fragile.”
“Shall I say how it is in your clothes?
A month after your death I wear your blue jacket.
The dog at the center of my life recognizes
you’ve come to visit, he’s ecstatic.”
“At the national cemetery in Gettysburg
all the trees have names,
both family and genus…”
“One afternoon the last week in April
Showing Kai how to throw a hatchet
One-half turn and it sticks in a stump.
He recalls the hatchet-head
Without a handle, in the shop
And go gets it, and wants it for his own.”
“To balance there, again, in the early dark,
three rungs up on the old stepladder,”
“On the fire escape, one
stupid petunia still blooms,
purple trumpet blowing”
Last night, right before I was heading to bed, I happened to see this on Twitter. Imagine my surprise when someone mentioned they had read an old poem of mine – and for a high school class, no less!
“Every day I peruse the box scores for hours
Sometimes I wonder why I do it
Since I am not going to take a test on it
And no one is going to give me money”
“I could tell they were father and son,
the air between them slack, as though
they hardly noticed one another.”
“For two weeks
Until it left of its own accord”
“We don’t lack people here on the Northern coast,
But they are people one meets, not people one cares for.”
“I pass a woman on the beach.
We both wear graying hair,
feel sand between our toes,
hear surf, and see blue sky.”
“The first warm day,
and by mid-afternoon
the snow is no more
than a washing
strewn over the yards”