Saturday, April 16, 2005

IO & others

Some recent spring poems


IO


Twice, I imagined her name called, once
when my lover came to visit, and then again,
in the root cellar where I strained in the dark
to listen among potatoes and onions.

Twice daily, I called out to her-- I O
toward the back pasture from which she came running
to enter the barn and charge into her stanchen
awaiting hay, and that greater reward, grain.

I squatted on a three-legged stool
tipping forward, my face pressed into her Jersey flank,
right forearm barring her feisty kicks
while I massaged hard udders to let down her milk.

Each time I heard or said her name,
I thought of that other cow driven insane
by furies when thoughts assailed my mind of L.
making me crazy--

Until a tension released itself through her milk’s flow
as I grasped two tits and the warm stream
poured out into the stainless steel bucket
and we both came into Egypt-- I, out of despair.

***


The Lilac Thief


This year I looked for lilacs
off the beaten track
in yards no longer tended –
It's in those forgotten places,
abandoned lots littered with debris,
broken shards and plastic bottles,
I find the deeper purple of old bushes--
their crushed bloomets falling into my arms
I snap from gnarled branches, the night already moist.
No one notices their heritage
plumage mingled with the weeds of choke
grass and mulberry stands grown unruly--
except for the local lilac thief,
that one, who stops to follow
the scent of unseen blossoms.

***

Nearing Summer Solstice


At Tires for Less on Route Nine
while waiting to exchange snow studs
for all season tires past the April deadline
--vehicle housekeeping--
A young skin head
with spider web surrounding his naked
elbow, strips each lug
which hits the floor as he moves on his haunches,
feral menace with a drill bit.
I pace the pavement
looking down at the Connecticut River.
At the edge of blacktop next to a field of low
lying wildflowers and scrub brush,
broken glass and butts. Two
monarchs catch my attention, then flecks
of orange move among purple cones,
a different butterfly, with fur edges.
This day is long and suddenly I have time
to wonder how it is they know to convene
in this dump by the hundreds--
oblivious of trucks and cars speeding past,
their movements counterpoint
to my noisy irritation, calmed a moment
until spider boy calls me over.


Jacqueline Gens

1 comment:

  1. Jenna9:51 AM

    These are lovely, Jacq.

    ReplyDelete