Saturday night on Atlantic Avenue:
flashy cars slow-mo on restaurant row
as a see-and-be-seen crowd
crosses wherever. Laughter.
Smoke from grills, cigarettes, weed.
I have shish kebab on my mind,
the final night of a poetry festival.
Must have passed the Laundromat
Dozens of times without pause.
Must be the fluorescence that limns
faces this Saturday night: people making
change while making eyes, could be.
Could be singles night for the lonely —
between relationships, between jobs,
between homes, shifts. Hands smoothing
tee-shirts, stacking jeans, while sneakers
in the dryer summon a disco beat.
Could be me.
When we rearranged the living room
to make a passage between kitchen
and patio, we found enough room
The other day you said when life
returns to normal, we could
take some lessons.
I don’t want to wait for someone
to teach my body how to move when
a tune I love starts playing.
We didn’t need lessons in how to find
each other across a room, either,
though we had come to the party
with other people, and would
go home with them.
I pull you to your feet and kick off
my sandals. The Tennessee Waltz
is playing its old sad story of lost love.
And here we are in the middle
of our 36th year of married love,
in the middle of our Oriental rug,
©March 1, 2021, Marika Stone
I stopped once to hear a sitar
played in a leafy shade.
A carpet had been laid to soften
spreading roots, and when the musician
paused, he rested his instrument
against a sturdy trunk.
Felled for a utility pole, says the young gardener
with outraged face. Couldn’t they
have found another place?
Now, where just a week before
we gathered in uncommon grace,
a stump and side-lying trunk.
Growth rings slowly weep sap.
Severed branches collect in a heap.
Something there is that doesn’t love a tree,
that sees only expendability; sees logs,
split and stacked for firewood;
sees timber, 2 X 4’s, cash.
That looks at shade and wants full sun;
that wants to make way for a lawn,
a fairway, a putting green.
©July 29, 2020
#68 of my 100 Poem Pandemic Challenge
Revised 1/12/21 with Susanna Rich