Poems of the Week

21 Feb

Three poems, three poets.

BECKIAN FRITZ GOLDBERG

Beached

Today along the shore they roped off
the seal, dying and nothing
to be done. The children were curious.
The dogs couldn’t get
enough. Seagulls circled for its eye.

My walk is the ordinary walk.
My passing, the ordinary passing.
Waves, and a kiss
pulls away from the feet.

I don’t know why more
astronauts don’t go mad, out
and alone like the animal,
and the space not

air, not gravity, but distance
always blue, beautiful,
ocean from the moon. Christ’s

flies edge the flesh,
the shit of cats who live among
the channel’s rocks with signs

not to feed them. Women come;
the strays run into shadow,
so many young
striped orange and white it’s hard

not to know who is lord in the life
without us.

ROSS MIDDLETON

Family Circus

Buckled in the dark
butch skirt, this Mom’s got
her eye on the cookie

thief. Dolly, you are being
naughty and defiant. First neighbors,
then their sad crickets: you’ve tooted

your youthful homophone
all day. Now it’s foul balls
staining some brother or

other’s cheeks. So don’t just
stand there breathing
hand to tootsie-pop—This is it.

You can’t
name your own turtle.

JASON SHINDER

October

The cold foreheads of apples graze the ground

with nothing on but their torn green jackets.
When I step into the shower

I am like the President of the United States

stepping up to the microphone,
and everyone in the world is waiting

to hear if I will be lying again.

Who rearranged the blue sheets on the bed?
Who stretched the calendar?

Who pulled the shades down in the afternoon?

It’s like I am wearing the white sleeves
of the doctor who cannot check the samples

of his own breath. I should push myself

into the pants of a new profession.
I should stand up with my fears like the butcher

waking up in the belly of the cow.

*all from The Laurel Review, Vol. 42 #1 Winter 2008, Eds. Rebecca Aronson, John Gallaher, Bryn Gribben.

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