Jul/Aug 2004 Poetry Special Feature

Two Word Poems

by Taylor Graham

Through Another Kitchen Window

Just imagine
being someone else this afternoon,
maybe a mother with her fingers
clotted with bread dough—an herbed
dough speckled with oregano
and silky with olive oil

and say your child (the one
you never had) comes in with arms full
of butcher paper and crayons
and erasers, and lies down
on the kitchen floor

so the circles of her drawing
and the pale kneading of your dough
become a single working of color
into basic white,

so your homely chore takes on
a rhythm of its own, a hum that tickles
the inside of the cheek, chapped lips;
your kneading becomes a kind of dance
in place at the wooden board,

and finally
you slide the oiled loaves
into the oven, while the daughter
who isn't yours at all
murmurs a color-learning-song
and the bread swells

turning brown as a wild thing
in the oven with its feral heart
of yeast.


For Remembrance

Rosemary is rampant at the edges
of the garden; as if she needed
to remember. How our lives reduce
to compost, and never for the sake
of growing. Her hands are chapped
with weeds, and rabbits get most
of the harvest. But it's oregano
gone feral all over the front yard
that amazes her with the strength
of vegetable survival. Green memory.
As if she needed rosemary to remember.
Pale blue flowers and a hum of bees
like the heart itself in bloom. If
only there were an herb that worked
like an eraser. She would plant
her whole garden full.


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