Poetry / May 2009 (Issue 7)


Two Poems

by Alan Jefferies

Last Stand

A woman is standing
with her back to the sea
legs planted firmly in the sand
shouting at the top of her voice

it didn't have to be the sea
it could just as easily have been
a field of sunflowers, a stand of golden larches
or even a freeway overpass.

she's shouting in a language
i can't understand a word of
though it might possibly be Dutch
it could just as easily be
Russian, Czech, Finnish or even Norwegian

the man is standing rather impassively
under a thatch of tall whispering
coconut palms nursing a small baby

it didn't have to be a baby
he could just as easily have been nursing
a stubby of beer, a tall glass of red wine
or even a baseball bat.

by her gestures i guess she's telling him
that he doesn't love her anymore
that she can tell by the way he looks at her
or doesn’t look at her
that he’d rather be with someone else
like the woman who sat opposite them
at dinner last night
or someone else, someone
imaginary.

though it didn't have to be that story
it could just have easily been
one of a dozen different
stories that added up to one
and the same thing.

Read "A Cup of Fine Tea: Alan Jefferies's "Last Stand"" here.


People are Planting Gardens in their Minds

People are planting gardens in their minds
because they've run out of room
in their apartments
because the sun don't reach this far down
through concrete canyons, because
the only dirt they've got
is what's under their fingertips
from the grit and grime of city streets

People are planting gardens in their minds
under chopstick thin neon
under the lazy thwap thwap of ceiling fans
under the intermittent drip drop drip of air conditioners
under the patient hands of teachers
they are threading seeds into furrowed brows
they are planting
gardens in their minds.

 
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ISSN 1999-5032
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