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.