poetry logo

AUGUST 1999 | VOL. 3, NO. 8



POETRY

CURRENT POETRY

RECENT POETRY
Seth Abramson

POETRY ARCHIVE

UP NEXT
J. Kevin Wolfe



TAYLOR GRAHAM is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler in the Sierra Nevada. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in America, The Iowa Review, New York Quarterly, Yankee, 1997 Anthology of Magazine Verse. Her latest collection, Next Exit, is due out this summer from Cedar Hill Publications.


FULL ISSUE CONTENTS
FEEDBACK
MAIL
ARCHIVES
COLUMNISTS
QUESTIONNAIRE

Search Renaissance Online

 

Linden Park | Groveland Campground | Main Street


TAYLOR GRAHAM

Linden Park

Now he takes the old walks
for the sake of circulation
and stiff joints. In rain,
the worst of weather, loving it.
In sunburn heat he walks again
the ways he went for Marty and Adele,
for Sophie with her auburn hair.
He hardly thinks their names now
as if they might be here. Mostly
he walks, and watches couples
tossing bread crumbs to the ducks
and kids doing lazy pendulums
on swings. How sunlight slings
the chains and pigeon wings engulf
a slanting light. One girl
tastes her lover's tongue
and the park bench peels in sun.
He's never been so much in love.


Groveland Campground: Swings

On smooth-mown lawn, two girls
cast squealing pigtail arcs
across a green mosquito evening:
the one bucked head-back,
her sister tip-toe to the falling
light. Opposing squeaky chain
trajectories, they let go,
feet-first into grass

while on the undeveloped fringes
elm and hickory, maple,
trillium and nameless weeds
with stinging nettle bunched
on deep black bottom mud:
the woods move on their
nighttime breezes and the wings
of gnats, of nighthawks. The woods
are gathering their dusk

while two girls hear the bed -
time call from circled tent sites
in the dim mosquito evening
while the swings go swinging
in their shortening arcs
and night commences
measuring its
clockwork, winding
down and slower
down and campers
sleep.


Main Street

The traffic's worse every week
between the painted lines, which November
leaves ignore, coming down today in wind.
The yellow cottonwoods, the liquid-amber
lighting up all of autumn on every tree.
They go the way the wind suggests,
in a swirly purposeless pattern. But
on Main Street the cars keep to the stricture
of pavement carefully between gutters,
staying off the sidewalks, only breathing
their carbon monoxide while leaves collect
yellow and liquid-amber in the gutters,
scuttle across the sidewalks underfoot,
as they will till the cottonwoods on Main
Street get paved under with all the other
gently breathing trees.

TOP