Poems are from the collection, The Lucky Spot Dance
is what I call the snapshot
Peter sent to me
of the three of us somewhere
by the water in the early l97O’s.
Peter is sitting on the fender
of Dad’s black rolls royce
in his jeans and white sneakers,
his big bushy hair is the color
of English toffee.
Steven is next to him,
just home from Oxford,
dressed in his summer linen suit,
shirt unbuttoned at the collar.
He’s holding the leashes of the two corgis,
sitting in front of him, ears pointed,
staring into the camera.
I’m leaning beside Steven
as though we’d just gone swimming,
& I’d floated up alongside of him.
My cheek is touching his shoulder.
We’re all in our twenties,
smiling easily, taking our time,
as though any minute
we might get up & walk out of this picture
for a late breakfast by the dock,
or a run down the beach
with the dogs or drive down
the hill to Groton Long Point
where the sun’s still out & South Beach
is crowded & a red striped sunfish
is just beyond the riptide -
can you see this
the way I’m seeing it now?
sitting here at my desk,
30 years past this photograph,
doing what I’ve always done
when I need to find out
how I feel or what I need -
I write down whatever I see &
give it a name: Old Times.
It’s my way of holding onto
What’s already gone –
the sailboat no longer in sight,
the young faces of my two brothers,
the dark haired girl who
looks so much like me.
The Dazzle of Beads
Steven Narrates in Dad’s Volkswagon
Driving up to Connecticut in the rain in Dad’s old car – I found out the roof
leaks like a bloody rowboat - when I pulled into the toll booth at Darien, a posiden-esque wave crashed over the back seat. For the next six hours, there wasn’t a dry spot in the car. I spent most of the trip rushing down hills to get as much of the water up front as possible. A rising water table behind my back was all I needed for a total meltdown. Why can’t Dad take care of his cars? I tried to ignore suction sounds and the distinct pull of an undertow. I must have had over five gallons, though I didn’t
actually measure. I went from Styrofoam cups to sponges, to a boat pump just to keep my knees above water. Oh Sandra, imagine me, whizzing over the Tapanzee, bailing, bailing…
A Remedy, of Sorts
A narrow porch off the dining room.
Sliced apples & roast beef sandwiches
on the stained pewter tray from Connecticut.
Marigolds from his garden. A shot glass of scotch.
“My medicine,” Steven smiled, as he saw me
look at the glass that stifling July afternoon
on Quince St. We ate lunch & watched
as the woman in the house across the way
walked from room to room, drawing the long
curtains closed & calling the dog back in,
trying to keep everything inside cool,
at least bearable.
Hi Ho Dearie,
After talking with you the other night during your latest hair wizardry session, I have to ask: How did it go with the Chocolate Kiss Rinse? Wouldn’t a session at Elizabeth Arden make a bit more sense? You never were very chemically minded you know. Just warn me if I’m going to see you at the train station with tresses the color of an azalea…
Soon My Sister will Go On Pointe
Yes, my dear, your ballet slippers were right here in the bedroom where you
left them last weekend. Today I stopped at the post, feeling as though I was sending
a package to Cinderella or Markova. I was glad to mail them back to you, worn out as they are. With the Nutcracker just a few Snow Queen weeks away, I knew you would relish their return.
Pas de Bourree!