Poetry / February 2010 (Issue 10)

Two Poems

by Daniel Bowman Jr.


Head right through the toothed wheel,
through going home,
through can't go home again,

out toward the scarred fir
by the leaning poplar.
At the bridge you'll hear
your uncle laughing as he deflects
an onslaught of marshmallows.

I'm sorry to say it, but
the only way from there
is directly into the creek.
Then climb the hill
and trace the crow-black
abandoned strip mall parking lot's

Pollack-stripes of tar
into the humid expanse
until nothing has a name.

It might seem like you're going
in a circle.
That's perfectly natural;
you're almost there.
Just bang a hard left
through your father's Brooklyn
and make a wide turn
around your mother's ear,
through the cigarettes and pigeons.

At this point,
you'll be under the compass.
Which is not being lost
but also is not somewhere but not nowhere.

April Poem

Every year about this time
I bury my mother's bones.
And in May
they spring up as lilacs
and in June they float softly

on the Irondequoit Creek
and in July they march down
Columbia Street
and end in smoke.
Then in August they become

Poison Ivy creeping
along the trail where I walk
with my daughter.
Soon they'll be hidden
under dead leaves and snow.

But the thaw will
have its say again next April
and I'll reach for the shovel,
happy for moonlight
and a grasshopper's song.

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