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Monthly Archives: July 2009

“When Sleep Won’t Come”

..
WHEN SLEEP WON’T COME
.
Four in the morning, harassed
by squirrels or worse
squealing in the back woods
as they ravage
over scarce food, mates, dens
or perhaps because of
.
that other raw need
I’ve felt myself
in the middle of the night–
an urge to be
as cruel to the silence
as silence can be
.to witnesses who wake to
what’s missing.
.
Five in the morning
and a newspaper assaults
my front door,
its first page clawed
by headlines from
Iraq and Korea.
Some innocent will still be
.
missing something
for the rest of the day.
But those wild ones
have quieted,
now that spoils are taken
and at least one
loser decided.
.
.
.
.
by Therese L. Broderick
.
.
.

Thistling

.
On bare walls at foursome sentry
to their yellow bedspread and feather-
filled battings, she wants to layer,
to paint wild thistle blooms — one blue
to regard, in turn, through her two
blue eyes; to dawn to; to take leave of
with their early sleep or coupled slaking.
Sky on sea, surf on undertow,
undertow on teal-streaked seashell.
The color that she desires despite
his edicts for white, his daylong denials.
Clouds on foam. Foam on bleached
bone. Once he took her, assuming
Biaco, Parian, Yule — blightless marble of
peer goddess, rare owl, flutings;
but she has ever veined blue, forever
rooted and thirsted outside the room
her paler man could lay a claim to.
.
.
.
.
by Therese L. Broderick
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(An artist’s statement about this poem appears as the first comment.)

July

 

Locked in a drug store. At closing time.
My mother on the eve of her eightieth birthday.
Smiles for the stranger. On the sidewalk who
takes her picture. Soon after she blows out.
All her candles.
.
My teenage daughter backs out. Our car nearly hits
a signpost. In the woman’s ward where she works.
A grown man. Argues, yells too close.
To the new-born baby.
.
A ballerina. This morning’s tour guide.
Shows how from each tall blue lamp on the campus.
A girl can aim. For the next. Then points
to the building named for. The man. Who
lept back into the Titanic.
.
The house cat escapes. Runs into the woods.
Where fireflies blink Look here, Look here.
We flick on flashlights. There. There.
Is July.
.
.
.
.
by Therese L. Broderick
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.
.
(An artist’s statement about this poem appears as the first comment.)

Three Without Umbrellas

.
I see them while driving through flooded streets —
a tall thin man loping past the Y, head lowered, not pausing
for red lights; a large woman in sneakers at the bus stop,
swaying left to right; a young foreigner darting
onto campus with his folders, into the nearest annex.
.
Why did none of them pay any attention to the many
predictions? Was it habit or long indifference —
he with his drowned dreams, she with her stormy
turns of mind, that third with memories from childhood
of islands hit by hurricanes, rafts of refugees?
.
My green umbrella lies beside me on the seat.
I’d roll down the window and hand it over if only
I knew who among them might be deserving, who so loves
the hard, merciless rain that they would
rather give back the token, leaving me
as I am — on my way home, dry and covered.
.
.
.
.
by Therese L. Broderick
.
.
.
(An artist’s statement about this poem appears as the first comment.)
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