Jul/Aug 2017 Poetry

Two Poems

by Bob Bradshaw

Image courtesy of the British Library Photostream

Everything Breaks Down

Sooner or later the sun
bursts like a pomegranate seed,

or failing that, a faucet
begins to blubber,

one by one the lights
on the ceiling fail,

the kinks in the hose
tighten to the point

you're wrestling with
a boa constrictor

trying to straighten
it out, throwing out

your back, tearing
a bicep's tendon.

Or the cup you're holding
slips from your hand,

perhaps from a nerve
in your hand that flinches

Or your heart
suddenly cramps

and your cardiologist
shrugs, "Everything

breaks down, wears

What can you do?
Too late, you end up

viewing the past
the way a retired sailor

in Kansas does—hearing
the Pacific's roar

in the tossing limbs
of his bent apple



As a boy I was unnerved
by the great distances between the stars.

At 8, at Point Reyes where the Pacific
swims towards the islands of Japan

I lay down in the sand like an oyster
closing my eyes to keep

from being overwhelmed.
Even today, as an adult, I fear

being diminished in your eyes.
How relieved I am

when I spot you emerging
from a crowd, quickening your pace,

your love growing larger
with your approach.


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