Monday, January 31, 2011

Little short poems that live in my notebooks

The literary world, so full of epics and 40-line free verse and fat sestinas, doesn’t seem to have much room for little short poems. So these babies don’t get out much. It’s okay, little poems–don’t be scared.

* * *


The dog’s note, a word.
We know his bark at night
like your daughter’s voice on the phone
saying she’s fine, but can she come over,
a stranger laughing behind her,
can she have dinner,
can she please come home.

* * *


Her laugh
like a coin
in the laundry dryer
of your heart—
seven more minutes
maybe eight.

* * *

Evening, July

The cat slides two paws
under the screen door. Outside,
wind scratches the grass.

* * *


She writes goodbye on her nametag,
avoiding that middle step
of breakfasts at the window
and nights on the steel chairs
of the hospital. She says
it was nice to know you,
fixes her lipstick
in the smooth face
of a steak knife.

* * *

Horse Dreams
ten years old

Pinto, paint,
apple-drop gray,
red roan, tunnel black,
Assyrian chargers,
then a neck,
a river-run shoulder, gone
back to the night
where all the horses sleep,
where I keep
a small saddle.

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