Jul/Aug 2022  •   Poetry


by Christine Potter

Public Domain image


Be not wise in your own eyes before you have travelled through the way of foolishness,
lest you may possess foolishness for wisdom
—Conrad Beissel

You're not supposed to love them but I do—
the homemade rockets arcing sideways
toward Lake Seneca and usually ending up
in Professor Somebody's rose bushes and

maybe he wasn't home and maybe we put it
out but I can't remember. Someone doing the
strange uphill walk of the young and drunk,
clutching a Genny Cream Ale tall boy, not

in much of a hurry, although he (always he)
had just lit something large with a match. The
special remote ignition system (created by
Someone Else who ended up teaching high

school chemistry in Florida) had failed. Again.
I'd ducked behind a mildew-smelling sea foam
green Ford convertible, behind an overgrown
barberry hedge, with thorns prickling my knees.

Someone yelling, O, Shit! Incoming, incoming,
And laughing. The dead of winter
and still we burned punk and black powder. So
many steely stars above us in the vast peace

we had disrupted! Gloveless, hatless, our dun
green fur-hooded parkas flapping open, three
hundred miles from home, careless, smart, and
very stupid. Allowed by Someone to survive.