Three poems

February 28, 2019

 

Into the Gap

 

              

Everything on shore bites,

but I’m not there. My friend

Fred is back at the throttle

and I’m up in the bow on

a boat cushion since they

 

haven’t yet passed the life-

preserver law. Under our feet

soft waves slap the aluminum

hull and behind Fred, the Evinrude

waves a flag of exhaust back

 

to my mother on the beach who

in her mind has murdered me

for what I’ve done now. We aim

through the gap between Tin

and Raspberry toward what

 

looks like the other side but

is only another island, big as

a glacier’s underbelly. Behind,

there is only blame and the land

carved out and of course once

 

I grow up I’ll grind into it like

maimed granite, but for now I fill

my face as full of wind as I can

since as long as we are loose on the lake,

Fred and I have ourselves forever.

 



Kamikaze

 

He is old and he will not eat. He is listening

to someone inside shouting louder than I

can hold him. Planes have streaked down

the sky on him for seventy years, so how

could this honey and yogurt stop up any

hole like that? Toward the end of the war

he fought in the Forties, they were kids

autographing the air with their fear while

my father swam out to them in metal, and

from the swarm of them, only one came back

to earth. But pain is everywhere possible,

he learned, and now when we are so tired

together and his ears and his years and feet

don’t fit and he is so old that I am old also

and, as I said, he will not eat, those kids

have come up from the bottom dripping wet,

though they aim this time at the mainland.

And he can’t walk and can’t see, either, but

still they’ve waited for him. And sometime

soon, no matter how hard I try to hold him

back, he will want to fly away with them.

 

 

A Note I Found from Something I Don’t Remember that Happened Fifteen Years Ago


 

We had just put the lower window

back in its frame next to our bed,

the summer so suffocating that we’d

never missed it, not even the night

of the tornado when our dark shingles

 

shot off, bats streaking down the street.

We shut ourselves in and the wood

groaned home. The edges met. But

then the next night with no wind,

a recurrent mighty thrum pounded

 

at the pane. What’s that, you said

as you came upstairs. I don’t know,

I said, there’s a torpedo trapped

in there. I think you laughed. I hope

we thought we were funny. From

 

this note I’ve found, it sounds like it

never unsettled our five-year-old son

asleep across the hall. Now, of course,

I know what tried to come, this claw

that always rakes around, raw as

 

black mold seeping under the green

sill. It was our two hearts fighting

for air. The way they would knock in

the night, twelve years later when

we found him ruined in his room.

 

Laurinda Lind has had poems accepted by Another Chicago Magazine, Blue Earth Review, Blueline, Comstock Review, Constellations, Main Street Rag, Off the Coast, and Paterson Literary Review. Her work also appears in the anthologies Visiting Bob: Poems Inspired by the Life and Work of Bob Dylan (New Rivers Press), and AFTERMATH: Explorations of Loss and Grief (Radix Media). In 2018 she won first places in the Keats-Shelley Prize for adult poetry and the New York State Fair poetry competition.

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