Poetry by Robert Lietz • Photo by Anndra Dubhacan


     The pickers will tell us about our lusts,
and the gang that knows,
breakfasting at Donna’s, having some fun
with summer poems
and our confusion at their stories,
the cousins’ crude
first drafts, told at this corner place
where the indoor shutter folds,
where one could not look out,
or gaze to the likes
of Herkimer, into these rains
that meant
the windows shutting down,
these small birds
in the hedges,
when the cat’s
kept in.

     How odd we must become -- in the way
of things -- wondering
when that was, and which odd couples
swore themselves upon themselves,
intent, over the dog-eared recipes, intent,
in the ways of things,
beginning in their own another face
to make do with the silence,
if not exactly what friends meant,
if not exactly lightning,
flashed in shocked materials, then another
kind of face, to serve
when looks turn mineral, when
the shoulder now
reminds me ill-prepared, trusting
the pleasant sense,
the fields of daylight lengthening,
the lifetimes     cousins
wrap around experience,
discerning the options
when the thunder
     But when was it ever right for grandparents
to leave us, for mothers
to simply quit, stopping themselves in time,
but once, in time, as if to admire how we bore it,
then gone, in the ways of things,
walking away
up Six Penny, through June
     And couples, like ourselves -- that had
amused themselves to touch --
breathe seasonals again, coming to grips
again -- on any Tuesday with a future,
with dates that seem to mark themselves
on calendars, meaning
appointments out-of-doors, meaning
a lonely house, pretending
to keep witness, and the sweats dried off,
and dreams     -- a little less
than sleep to take to heart
as an allowance-- ruffling
the skies like linens
hearts had lifted
over them.

     So the flute’s immoderations concentrate.
And couples --
like ourselves     -- given to flutes
and court-games
then -- to this fumbling luck
that comes to oh-so-little
otherwise     -- rise up alive     and dead   
and alive-to-be again    -- happy   
if only once     to blush     -- the more
in their wooed shapes --
making a year of circumstance,
couples like ourselves --
convincing a man to trust their presence
when he’s listened     -- to
believe their confidence, understand
their being here --
among     the commonplace
and oddest
of attractions -- to believe
in the confidence
/ however   
their skills have

Back   •   Home   •   Next