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Two poems

Life on the Edge

“Foxy,” the perfect epithet she and her like

have spawned: wave-sleek, glowing paprika-

and-cream in the headlights as she makes

her liquid way across the road between

backyards and golf course. Pausing at the edge,

she seems to look up at the cloud-silvering

dime of a moon above the fifteenth green,

seeing nothing special. Instead, it isn’t

the moon or the first three shuddering stars

below it that make her start—ears tensed

and tented—but a few weary starlings

squabbling over a foothold in the tree above her.

Skittish, she stretches herself out

against the dew-slick grass, gliding

from fairway to sand trap, sensing even here,

half a mile from her hillside den

in that piney rough between the fairways,

her kits’ straitened-hungry whining.

Awaiting the kill that will come,

in time. And always just in time.

Praise for a Safe Commute in My Senescence*

Praise that I respond aright to the car’s chimed admonitions (seatbelt on, footbrake off).

Praise that the general flow of traffic is toward town, while my route is away.

Praise that the single school bus I encounter turns off within a block.

Praise that the first, always dilatory, stoplight I encounter is green.

Praise that I encounter no flashing stoplights, warning lights, hazard lights, school-zone lights.

Praise that traffic in the left lane is gapped, so I merge without the blare of a horn, or flip of a bird.

Praise that traffic doesn’t begin to bunch up till I’m halfway there and then some.

Praise that the bunching-up is relieved by a scene of deer grazing beyond a monitory fence.

Praise that there are fences, with green space behind.

Praise that hunters of beast and/or man are at rest, and nowhere near.

Praise that mist chants a sleepy benediction over the river as I cross it.

Praise that my convenience-store coffee is pleasingly tanned, not burned.

Praise that I have not been rear-ended, front-ended, sideswiped, or stopped by the cops.

Praise that the parking lot has reserved a space for me near enough the front door.

Praise that I’m ambulatory still.

*To preserve Passarella's line breaks, "Praise..." is published in a smaller font.


Lee Passarella served as senior literary editor for Atlanta Review magazine and as editor-in-chief of Coreopsis Books, a poetry-book publisher. He also writes classical music reviews for Audiophile Audition.

Passarella’s poetry has appeared in Chelsea, Cream City Review, Louisville Review, The Formalist, Antietam Review, Journal of the American Medical Association, The Literary Review, Edge City Review, The Wallace Stevens Journal, Snake Nation Review, Umbrella, Slant, Cortland Review, and many other periodicals and ezines.

"Swallowed up in Victory", Passarella’s long narrative poem based on the American Civil War, was published by White Mane Books in 2002. It has been praised by poet Andrew Hudgins as a work that is “compelling and engrossing as a novel.” Passarella’s has published two poetry collections: The Geometry of Loneliness (David Robert Books, 2006) and Redemption (FutureCycle Press, 2014). Passarella also has two poetry chapbooks: Sight-Reading Schumann (Pudding House Publications, 2007) and Magnetic North (Finishing Line Press, 2016).

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