nycBigCityLit.com   the rivers of it, abridged

New York City skyline at night

Poetry



Fall 2014 / Spring 2015

 

 


Bertha Rogers


Disconnect Villanelle

Once, I don’t remember the exact day,
can’t call back the lone instant—
but his words still speak, then slip away

through lips that open and sway
over white teeth; his deep voice, urgent.
Once, I don’t remember the exact day

his eyes, awash in tears, gray,
were one man’s closing comment.
His words still speak, then slip away.

It is as if  love always meant to stray
from its sweet home, turn vagrant.
Once, I don’t remember the exact day

the summer swallows flew away
and upthrust branches went silent.
But his words still speak, then slip away.

Lifting up—nothing more to say—
we dusted off, divided—strange, new quotient.
Once, I don’t remember the exact day,
but his words still speak, then slip away.

 

Great Blue Heron and Landlocked Salmon, Oregon

Flash of blue-gray, obsidian eye,
sunset of his beak, mercury-quick crest.

In the volcanic lake cupping hulked
ponderosas, firs—the silver coho,
last of his kind, slowly circles.

Breath-catch, willed stop—the heron
lifts his blue-gray body off black water

And snow-blanketed sparrows shake
the blue-white, frozen sky while
want closes the heron’s black eyes.

 

April Snow

Snow over rain, water to white,
spring limping like an old man
down the rutted road.

Widow and son still bide
in that house, there, where corn
waved and Holsteins surged.

The wind blows this new
winter away—and her son
leans over his book, learning to leave
this last farm, for good.

 

 

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