Summer Couch - DeKooning
Summer Couch - DeKooning

Two Poems

by Dancing Bear

Stag's Leap, Napa Valley

We drank wine
as deep red as the blood in our hearts
The sky laughed lavender
into deeper shades of evening
We spoke as young fools speak
of the lives we would never live
filled with a multitude of conquests
and successes
we flew like magnificent hallowed owls
under the wide face of the harvest moon
soaring into the valley of vines below
That night we became blood brothers
of the hunt
You sang your Mediterranean magic song
I chanted to the Great Mother
and we drank more of her blood
till the sky lightened to a rosy dawn
We walked down the mountain shadows
amongst the deer and rabbits
proud hunters
At the foot of the mountain
in the heart of a vineyard
we pointed to the different directions
of our destinies
then shook hands as only hunter-brothers can
and bid each other luck on the hunt

And today when I look at how different
my life is
I miss you
my naive brother

Someone Always Has It Worse
(for Kenny)

Back then we hung out together
whistling through summer grass
playing Risk or Monopoly on rainy days
rode our bikes further than allowed
fought on the same sides

I was quiet observational
you were wiry hyper
together we made a team

At night, after all the judges were asleep
I slipped out of my window
cutting across tall grass in the vacant lot
between our houses to sneak you out of yours

one night I came early

drunken step father yelling
then I heard the slap
unforgettable slap
and your cries

from then on I came early
and every night it replayed

I never noticed your bruises
after that, I never noticed anything else
I'd dream about fighting him
about standing up
Your step-father was never a nice guy
but he became evil after this

I told my parents
but back then a man could
slap his wife
beat his kid
kick his dog
and that's his business

One night, I didn't have to climb outside
to hear your crying
to hear the blows
I called the police without permission
and for some reason they came

then they left
and the beatings got worse
I never told you who called

Dancing Bear writes: I am of Native American and Swedish ancestry. I live in the San Francisco bay area. I am the Senior Editor of Toth Press, a poetry reviewer for Thinker and a contributing editor of Disquieting Muses and the editor of the forthcoming Michael McNeilley book, Situational Reality.


To TOCE-Mail the AuthorSerendipity Link