Jul/Aug 2003 Poetry

Two Poems

by Judy Goodwin



Sad flowers, heavy
and so briefly gay,
strewn and down
along the edge of cedar.
How awkward too, I stand
in my own strange shape,
head bowed to wood where once
the grandsons spread their sand,
and I could press my cheek,
smell dark dirt and home.

These trees
do not remember joy—
this mountain ash, that
purple one with leaves like coins.
Nor all the garden,
each undiscovered lily,
heroic rose and daffodil.

And there's the keeper,
with his winter fists
like bulbs
shoved deep in angst and toil.
Well, damn his gate!
Tonight by moon
my arms will swell
with headiness and bloom
while in my quiet bones
the empty corners wait.



You are a phantom ache
in limbs of wood. No wonder
your image flickered
as you sat on my bed—
white covers and poetry
hiding beneath.

I said
"I require more than this—"
More than ghosts
with kind eyes and
smelling of beach perhaps.

Or was I playing whale?
rising up out of the blankets,
straining for krill. Maybe
I'm deep in its belly
at a table with a candle
like Geppetto, while
outside on the waters, you
are drumming my name.

Tonight I drift over your spot
and feel loneliness
lapping at my sides.
That shadow thing again—
just when I was starting to feel


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