Poetry / March 2016 (Issue 31)


Two Poems

by Andrea Lingenfelter

MASTER OF NETS

a pair of blondish women
in loud strappy sandals
bright clothes layered like
handbills on a wall

tripping by with their guide
soon en route to other gardens
but first they stop
by a decorative rock

the busloads are elsewhere
lunch hour               it's just us
              and them

we listen without understanding
wonder what language they're speaking
the guide murmurs the clients
glance from her to pond
fixing this moment in their minds
cameras tucked away liked wallets
stuffed with useless currency

we sit without speaking
suddenly aware
of our soft soled shoes         our jackets
the color of moss
and shadows

the surface of the water
looks polished                     the orange flash
of carp
muted by living water

one of us says perhaps
the language is Russian
while the trio clatters towards an exit
thin heels catching in cobbles

then quiet
and then
a gentle splash
the fish
you say
             yu
             魚
                    haoting
                    好聽 

 



FORGETTING

"Remembering is difficult, but forgetting is even harder."
                                            —Shang Qin (1930-2010)

The neighbor's kitchen garden
Grows inches every day
I pass by feathers of fennel
Pea vines still climbing but
Soon to tumble

Is it clematis that resembles
Purple starfish with pink and white mouths
And barbs at every point?

My memory a plot of land
I plant my secrets
So some may later blossom
Words traceable to their seeds

This low alley, its heavy air so
Proximate to water
The lake’s swampy edges a blur
Of duckweed and sodden grasses

By the time I return from this walk
I will have forgotten
The lines my footsteps tapped out

The massive waxy leaves of a plant I can't name

The throaty belligerence of crows

An old chest of drawers
Left beside a driveway
 
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