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Saturday, May 14, 2016

READING



L.I. Summer People 

he was coatless as a boy should be
cutting slices through the summer air
thinking of games until his sneakers
found their front walk and he ran to the 
door at the end of the road, side-stiching,
happy-panting already breathing Emily- 
air – Emily-family - they would be in the
kitchen just like every summer – pitcher
of cold lemonade – those slices of real lemon 
floating - the sugar crystals sparkling, 
rimming the  lip .... and they would say 
“Come on in” and he would say “Hi” 
and now, now Summer would …

But - it was all wrong – anyone could see it-
path weedy–daylilies dead–flag unflapping
on the bare pole rusting over the door –
that house sagged with the empty feel that
unbodied places get – He slumped for a long
while against that kitchen door picking at the
flaking paint - sun sinking - his mother would
have dinner on the table - be listening for him. 
Yet he sat -vocabulary words tossed-tumbling 
incredibly, apparently, evidently, inexplicably” 
they were not coming – there was no envelope
nattily fixed to the door holding an explanation,  
never would there be one – They were summer -
people after all–their lives as far flung-twinkling
as stars - seemingly set forever only to flicker, 
flash and without warning slice across the sky 
burning bright, and out and irrevocably over.


Bubby’s Kristallnacht Cup* (17)

Bubby had a glass tea cup
that she would take down
from its high shelf once in
a very long while and hold
to the golden light at sunset
Sparkling crystal only one
with a saucer so thin it felt
weightless in my small hand
that crisp November evening
when she called to me and
her special voice warm with
a faraway language waved
me to her side – and tears
shining in her eyes showed
me how to hold the cup so
it caught all the light shining
we stood silently side by side
at her window – I a small child

with trembling heart holding
her single secreted souvenir
Until with hair shimmering
silver she straightened her
shoulders and with a proud
tremble in her voice began –
“Let me tell you “kinder” of a night
when they came to break the glass..”
Years tumbled as they will and one
day clearing out her things I found
on the self same shelf her tea cup
and reached on tiptoe my belly big
with child -and listened as it slipped
– a small smash – a tiny shatter – and
as I began to cry – cleaning sparkling
slivers – I saw a fragment Woolworth
label and realized that nothing had
survived that time except the love,
the knowledge and the legacy, to be
retold so as she would say
it should never be forgotten”
I locked her door and at Tiffany’s
I found a fluted cup of cut crystal
Only one? the saleswoman asked
One will be enough
I answered – One will be enough …
Unwrapped it on a high bookshelf
where it catches the light and waits
to tell its story to the child that will
bear her name





Never Again?

Never again babies bayonetted
In courtyards for sport
Never again tattooed id numbers
On wrists, - trainloads
Of human cargo
Poured in pain
ending in ash ….
Never again … the 
thick, black noxious
not knowing …
Never again...
Treating any other
Like pariahed
The Other
Never again?
Sniff and smell
the wisp of smoke
drifting in the air





Visit? Or? 

I can come for a visit
Someone here will fold
the walker into the car
you send for me
I will be presentable
they have someone who
styles hair here now
not like last time
perhaps at ninety three
hair should not fall free
on shoulders as you said
I can come for a visit
and sit in that chair
you have for me by
the window – I won’t
comment on the crinkle
of the plastic I feel 
under the pretty paisley throw
I can come for a visit --- and see your new Prada
admire its sheen ----- and smile when you and yours
laugh those laughs they
must have given out when
you came into your own
I can come for a visit
Or
I can come
and cut carrots
for the holiday dinner
even from a chair
my fingers tremble
but my heart is strong
I can come for a visit
Or
I can return to my home
by the lake with the sagging
porch that you say is being fixed
while I visit in that place perfumed with
faint urine for another year
I can visit
Or
I can return to the home that is no more
Stand on the shore of the lake that shines
With a reflection of all that was before and
Just after you
I can
visit
Or -I can stay -With you – it shouldn't be for too long
have some stories left unspoken -Yet, my voice too sudden-soft to speak --- I write instead …
“Dear Child, – Thank you, for the kind invitation -to visit but I must…
Decline..."


Wild Horses  
you might have well have
loosed wild horses at your…imperious signal to thrust bullets of hoof prints over my heart
you might have well … as I stand at the edge of
incomprehension
feet leaden – locks ….of ball and chain
frozen in a single
paralytic spot
wondering at the wind of
vitriol that rose to whirl
in vicious vacuous
stoned laced stings
where love once had
lived ….. and now cheeks cut, heart
bleeding under the cloven
hooves of your indifference
this heart under which…..you once grew from a single …..cell seeks to repair itself …alone as you plant your unfamiliar flag on a hill of your own making ….with those of your own choosing ……never looking back


Friday, May 13, 2016

Resding


L.I. Summer People 

he was coatless as a boy should be
cutting slices through the summer air
thinking of games until his sneakers
found their front walk and he ran to the 
door at the end of the road, side-stiching,
happy-panting already breathing Emily- 
air – Emily-family - they would be in the
kitchen just like every summer – pitcher
of cold lemonade – those slices of real
lemon slices floating - sugar crystals 
rimming the lip and they would say 
“Come on in” and he would say “Hi” 
and now, now Summer would …

But - it was all wrong – anyone could see it
path weedy–daylilies dead–flag unflapping
on the bare pole rusting over the door –
that house sagged with the empty feel that
unbodied places get – He slumped for a long
while against that kitchen door picking at the
flaking paint - sun sinking - his mother would
have dinner on the table - be listening for him. 
Yet he sat -vocabulary words tossed-tumbling 
incredibly, apparently, evidently, inexplicably” 
they were not coming – there was no envelope
nattily fixed to the door holding an explanation,  
never would there be one – They were summer -
people after all–their lives as far flung-twinkling
as stars - seemingly set forever only to flicker, 
flash and without warning slice across the sky 
burning bright, and out and irrevocably over.


Bubby’s Kristallnacht Cup* (17)

Bubby had a glass tea cup
that she would take down
from its high shelf once in
a very long while and hold
to the golden light at sunset
Sparkling crystal only one
with a saucer so thin it felt
weightless in my small hand
that crisp November evening
when she called to me and
her special voice warm with
a faraway language waved
me to her side – and tears
shining in her eyes showed
me how to hold the cup so
it caught all the light shining
we stood silently side by side
at her window – I a small child

with trembling heart holding
her single secreted souvenir
Until with hair shimmering
silver she straightened her
shoulders and with a proud
tremble in her voice began –
“Let me tell you “kinder” of a night
when they came to break the glass..”
Years tumbled as they will and one
day clearing out her things I found
on the self same shelf her tea cup
and reached on tiptoe my belly big
with child -and listened as it slipped
– a small smash – a tiny shatter – and
as I began to cry – cleaning sparkling
slivers – I saw a fragment Woolworth
label and realized that nothing had
survived that time except the love,
the knowledge and the legacy, to be
retold so as she would say
it should never be forgotten”
I locked her door and at Tiffany’s
I found a fluted cup of cut crystal
Only one? the saleswoman asked
One will be enough
I answered – One will be enough …
Unwrapped it on a high bookshelf
where it catches the light and waits
to tell its story to the child that will
bear her name





Never Again?

Never again babies bayonetted
In courtyards for sport
Never again tattooed id numbers
On wrists, - trainloads
Of human cargo
Poured in pain
ending in ash ….
Never again … the 
thick, black noxious
not knowing …
Never again...
Treating any other
Like pariahed
The Other
Never again?
Sniff and smell
the wisp of smoke
drifting in the air





Visit? Or? 

I can come for a visit
Someone here will fold
the walker into the car
you send for me
I will be presentable
they have someone who
styles hair here now
not like last time
perhaps at ninety three
hair should not fall free
on shoulders as you said
I can come for a visit
and sit in that chair
you have for me by
the window – I won’t
comment on the crinkle
of the plastic I feel 
under the pretty paisley throw
I can come for a visit --- and see your new Prada
admire its sheen ----- and smile when you and yours
laugh those laughs they
must have given out when
you came into your own
I can come for a visit
Or
I can come
and cut carrots
for the holiday dinner
even from a chair
my fingers tremble


but my heart is strong
I can come for a visit
Or
I can return to my home
by the lake with the sagging
porch that you say is being fixed
while I visit in that place perfumed with
faint urine for another year
I can visit
Or
I can return to the home that is no more
Stand on the shore of the lake that shines
With a reflection of all that was before and
Just after you
I can
visit
Or -I can stay -With you – it shouldn't be for too long
have some stories left unspoken -Yet, my voice too sudden-soft to speak --- I write instead …
“Dear Child, – Thank you, for the kind invitation -to visit but I must…
Decline..."


Wild Horses  
you might have well have
loosed wild horses at your…imperious signal to thrust bullets of hoof prints over my heart
you might have well … as I stand at the edge of
incomprehension
feet leaden – locks ….of ball and chain
frozen in a single
paralytic spot
wondering at the wind of
vitriol that rose to whirl
in vicious vacuous
stoned laced stings
where love once had
lived ….. and now cheeks cut, heart
bleeding under the cloven
hooves of your indifference
this heart under which…..you once grew from a single …..cell seeks to repair itself …alone as you plant your unfamiliar flag on a hill of your own making ….with those of your own choosing ……never looking back