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Category: Poem-A-Day 2013

POEM: birds unknown kind


birds unknown kind

A dozen birds — unknown kind,
beaks into the December wind —
cut through the pinkening sky
like ink spots on a silk sheet.
A full morning moon shines
in the ice patches on the sidewalk,
sharing a laugh with Jupiter.

19 December 2013
State College, PA

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POEM: summer of ’77


summer of ’77

who knows what kind of car it was
all I remember is the windshield
looking through it over the shoulders
of my mom and my not-yet-dad
to see the cold gray TIE Fighter
swoop down on a lone X-Wing
against a black, star-dotted field

18 December 2013
Oak Street

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POEM: they didn’t even mind that their skinny jeans got damp


they didn’t even mind that their skinny jeans got damp

instead they ran through the streets of the West Village
laughing as they hadn’t since they were children
jumping in puddles (first he, then she, then he again)
as the sound of a jazz combo lurched up the stairs from the 55 Bar
following them down the street like a beatnik mendicant
on the corner of Greenwich Avenue, across from
Jefferson Market Garden, she grabbed his arm, pulled him close
they kissed in front of Village 1, parting the shoppers like a boulder in a river
then, laughing, they danced out of sight down the avenue

17 December 2013
State College, PA

/ / /

The title of this poem comes from something written by Avital N. Nathman, whom you should be following on Twitter and at her website.

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POEM: the cache in the cellar

the cache in the cellar

spirit away
this bit
and that

in case
you need them

hide them
in the cellar

the jars of
you bought

last winter
when you
thought you’d

like to make
sauce some

if you’re ever
feeling low

you can creep
the cellar stairs

a flashlight
late at night


scoot the jars
out of the way
and look at them

sitting there
in their dusty

16 December 2013
Oak Street

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POEM: anywhere


(for Bernie and John)

who wouldn’t want to get into the police box
tie your fate to the whims of a mad explorer
touch down everywhere and everywhen
never quite knowing what lies beyond the door

my older son says he wouldn’t want to go into space
which makes me sad, because as a child (and even now)
I wanted to go into space more than almost anything
but he’s grown up in a world without human spaceflight

a time when we’ve stopped reaching for the stars
(an idea even Casey Kasem understood)
when we’re content to limit our vision to what’s easy
rather than set our sights on what’s just beyond reach

so, with no real-life exploration to inspire us
I’ll do the next best thing — I’ll give my boys a box
that’s bigger on the inside, that can go anywhere
and I’ll use it to show them they can go anywhere too

15 December 2013
Oak Street

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POEM: saturday evening vignette


saturday evening vignette

the teacups washed, dried, put away
all the chopsticks in the same direction
bottoms up in a plastic cup
the counter cleaned, bare, promising
a mug of hot chocolate cooling on the desk
outside, the distinct lines of cars blurring
under the snow that’s been falling since morning
inside, the radiators wash the room with warmth
enough so that I’m in a short-sleeved shirt
unshowered, glasses on, pausing between words
as I try to capture some small piece of this day
before placing it gently on a shelf with its siblings

14 December 2013
Oak Street

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