"Seven Octets"

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Oct. 5 2010 7:04 AM

"Seven Octets"

(Continued from Page 1)

cut through the rings of earthworms, sliced
a dormant beetle's carapace.

Her Smile

The only time I saw her smile
She knelt in sunlight, gardening,
Red trowel turning up the soil;
The only time I saw her smile
With no misgivings, lost a while
In the pleasure self-forgetting brings;
The only time I saw her smile
Without fear's shadow burdening.

The Lanterns

I wanted the long, low-ceilinged basement rec-room dark
Except for the pair of brass ship's lanterns, green and red,
That unmoored the room from the house and lit its path from roadstead
To open water where, caught by the trades, it would embark

Southward, as new-minted stars climbed from the sea,
And shoals of fish leaped, shedding concentric rings of phosphorous—
To anchor, after prolonged, delicious loneliness,
Where no one who was not a child could follow me.

Primal House

But there had been a house before the house,
The one I left at three and can't recall;
Yet mother said the house J. and I chose
Three decades later was identical.

And must my life in this repeated space
Harbor that 3-year-old's bewildered pain,
His inarticulate sense of grief and loss,
Like smoldering fire in an abandoned mine?

Dad Home From Work