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Jan/Feb 1999 Poetry

Three Poems

by Dancing Bear


 

Like Autumn Ghosts

one hand moves through another
the undeniable cooling        each touch
the touch of memory        another season
of leaves        long shadows
the house settles in its own noises
drafts whisk dust        in to clouds
like ghosts        we move the same way
with Autumn        in our hearts
over wooden floors        to afternoon light
through one window        one gray sky window
light guttering through us
if I said a word        a whisper even
it would haunt me like the fall

 

Somewhere Between Here and There

I am sitting with the ducks        again
ones that never fly        anywhere
not for a season        or change
Autumn        that cold garnet        in half light
lands on us        God        I am here
and do not want to be        she said
I am a coward        and there is
so much truth to this        that I run away
from it again        it is over        like summer
gone with a gray day        that chills into me
fingers my spine        I am afraid of failure
the job        the poetry        this woman
that husband in another city        someone
in a black jacket        the hand in a pocket
everyone elseís        confidence
that autumnal shadow stretching
out to touch winter
itís all something striking my fear
you canít be a good guy        and feel desire
and own it        not in this life        my life
where summer closes its eye
and walks away        door left open
moaning for that road        sitting so still
so empty        waiting for the changes
I fooled myself        as these ducks have
every year        the fast sunsets pull at
their wings        and they deny it
their greens and browns no less shiny for it
I cannot save them        return them
to a forgotten migratory path
I cannot save anything        and I have tried
I have tried        Lord        I have sinned and tried
against all that is sacred in my skin        I have
and these birds climb out of their        manmade pond
expecting me to give them what they want        food
my pockets        empty        as my skin

 

Autumn Leaf

as we walked the cold air
brought one gold oak leaf
sailing in front of her face
she caught it
and smiled slipping the stem
into the eye of her jacket zipper
but it fell free she
said it was almost meant for her
I went back for it
_ it is meant for you_
said she had no place to keep it
and I slipped it into my pocket

I found it later in my shirt
laid itís arms and head out flat
and dreamed of her face
that never kiss
we never kissed a thousand times
each one
soft sweet and waiting for rain

 

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