RSS Feed

Monthly Archives: June 2010

“The Tie”

..

This poem is autobiographically actual. The selected details are as accurate as I could record them. The two fathers in the poem gave me their consent to use their names and profiles. In this piece, I explore several ties, twins, dualities, opposites, pivots, turning points.

,

THE TIE (June 22, 2010)

Postponed because of rain
then rescheduled for
what turns out to be
a rare dry spell
between two summer showers —
your last soccer game ever
for the Albany city team
being played this evening
on rural fields
near Farm to Market Road.
a new pale blister on the rise.
Two fathers, both named Lee,
are faithful fans of every
fall-to-spring season:
Rebecca’s dad walks the sidelines
raising and dropping the flag
for wayward balls;
Maggie’s dad watches
with his other daughter
from a folding chair on the grass.
And near the players’ bench
the large kind coach
bellows his tough love:
Let’s make something happen, girls!
.
I stand during both halves of the game
alone on a sloping bank
watching you give your utmost
as Number 6 in midfield.
Stamina: you have always put forth
your best. Ten years of running
fast and nimble-footed
and of keen passes, unselfish
assists. Plus several goals
shot straight from the laces
of your indoor or outdoor cleats.
.
Behind me on other fields
new younger players
kick and dribble, their parents
or grandparents cheering.
Once I was like them
in rookie training. But now
I am a veteran
of many standoffs, suspended
yet one more time tonight
between two strategies
for a mother’s end game:
crying or clapping.
.
After a late-game rally,
your team ties it up at 3 to 3.
.
.
.
by Therese L. Broderick
.
.
.
.

“She Consults the Shovel”

..

This fanciful poem is based on my recent visit to an art museum. The “she” is not autobiographical. This poem benefits from the feedback of my local first readers JG and JH.

,

SHE CONSULTS THE SHOVEL

It hangs from the museum ceiling
above a painted white square, its silent
field of snow — long and black like a pendulum
waiting in a game for the gentle push
of a Yes-or-No question. She begins with
an easy one: Will the westerly winds
pick up force tomorrow? The steady handle
doesn’t answer, but she feels a sudden chill
and rubs both slender hands together,
discovering near her shortest lifeline
a new pale blister on the rise.
in thirteen years pitches him
backward, twisted hips
recoiling at the
by Therese L. Broderick
.
of the floor. For two
seconds he holds ground,
NOTE: This poem was inspired by Marcel Duchamp’s sculpture
In Advance of the Broken Arm (1945 replica of lost 1915 original)
Yale University Art Gallery
June 2010
at the red salmon lifted
on our forks.
.
.
.
by Therese L. Broderick

“Pedometer”

..

This poem was inspired by my new pedometer.

,

PEDOMETER

A tapered oval three inches long, half as tall,
like a cheetah’s eye with a corner “Mode.”
Clipped to her belt, its stares ahead at their
daily terrain: corridors, stairwells, halls,
playgrounds, parking lots, aisles and aisles.
A sleek silver mascot which cheers her on —
longer, further, faster. She thinks her stride
is growing more smooth, her thighs more firm.
The higher the day’s count, the younger she feels
and safer, too, no longer dreading packs of
hearing aids, pacemakers, 911 necklaces.
…..Each night on her bed stand, she re-sets it.
…..Two zeroes watch as she sprints in her dreams.
those five zeros. They watch her as she dreams.
.
.
by Therese L. Broderick
.
.
.
FACT and FICTION in this poem: The description of the pedometer is accurate. I did a quick search online to confirm that my pedometer is roughly shaped like a cheetah’s eye. In this poem I use “she” instead of the autobiographical “I” for these reasons: in truth, I do not dream about sprinting; I used to walk around playgrounds when my daughter was younger, but I don’t anymore.
.
.
.

“Old Yellow Cat”

..

This poem is based on my cat’s recent demonstration of his old age. It was inspired by the compassionate animal/pet poems in the outstanding collection Lamb written by  Frannie Lindsay.

,

OLD YELLOW CAT

Something fails
to deploy the moment
he launches from
the carpet to the dark rim
of our dining room table–
s
an altimeter of paws
or the emergency yaw
of his tail. Some new foe
f
for the first time
in thirteen years pitches him
backward, twisted hips
recoiling at the
permanent insult
.
of the floor. For two
seconds he holds ground,
brow flat and wide. Then
he swallows and juts his chin,
aims his sight again
aims his sight again
at the red salmon lifted
on our forks.
.
.
.
by Therese L. Broderick
.
.
.
FACT & FICTION in my poem: the “red salmon” is an invented detail. I describe the cat’s movements as best I can remember them.
This poem benefits from the feedback of my two local first readers JG and JH.
.
.
.

“On Day 42 of the Oil Spill”

.

This poem is based on an eerie sound I have been hearing recently in my back yard.

.

ON DAY 42 OF THE OIL SPILL

In dry woods behind my house

one of the trees is squeaking

in rising winds, perhaps a heedless

willow over-reaching its new branch

down to the evaporating gully.

One of the trees is squeaking, a sound

like the final swipes of paper towel

on an attic window — thin and septic,

a pinched distress. One of the trees

reminds me of a injured creature

squealing. Its zithering goes on and on,

no rainstorm to come to our aid.

.

.

by Therese L. Broderick

.

.

.