By Susan Van Pelt Petry

After the Picnic

The sandwich bones left,
the falling tide sucked
through the gut,

the wind snapped southeast,
deep Atlantic blew in
and the fog arrived.
All lilt and laughter
turned trembling, wet,
dropped below deck,

a halyard slacked,
the genoa flapped,
and a loon cried.
Sounds from the shore
echoed and slurred.
The sky smudged the sea,

like the end of a life,
when the compass spins off
and there’s no then, no next.

All vistas were blurred,
even thumbs disappeared,
and the ship lost sight.

The Paisley Corduroy

We had to search for a poem today
for my son to learn and say.
We read Jabberwocky and The Charge of the Light Brigade
and I found myself transported.

It could have been the drapes, burgundy velvet
or the smell of the teacher’s chalk,
or a dress I wore that day, the paisley corduroy,
whose purple and teal curls lapped at my senses

like the poems in the musty Puffin Book of Poetry
that astonished me even in my young self-ness.
Stunned by the ineffable, by the worlds in and beyond words, 
transcending then to now, with my son.

Calou, Calay and Onward he chants,
my nostrils, follicles, and mouth all open
gasping I thank Lewis and Alfred and all
as my son’s fingers stroke the sun-soaked wall.

One thought on “After the Picnic and The Paisley Corduroy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s