The Hours Between

sandpipers-tina-obrien

the hours between
rising and
the falling breath
a journey to rose
a sandpiper’s tango
the to and fro
O poet, you –
gone seconds
across the room
in your other season

*To be read down then back up.
*You may want to pause in different places when reading back up.
*It will make sense the way the poet intended if viewed on a larger screen than a watch or even an iTouch or phone.

Painting: Tina O’Brien

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Summer Morning

In that dictionary – a poem is
ready to explain how the sun
rose this morning as slow as
buttercups, longer than a
mockingbird sang honey
into my Earl Grey, and after
thirty-one brushstrokes of
blue and forever passing,
finally you woke to fresh
berries and cream as the
hummingbirds slowed,
looking in the kitchen
window, the sugar-water
cooling and just about ready
for a poem.

Staying Too Long

He asked if it was always
this busy. I said, “No. Busier.”
I wanted to eat with him then
when his smile lit up a dark day.

And I did, staying too long –
each of us with people waiting –
his wife, my husband.

But there were things that
needed saying: his fifth grade
broken arm, my long desire
for a man who had broken his
arm in fifth grade.

And the days fell into step
meeting there, a deli as it
happened, and I can say I
loved even as we said we
wouldn’t, assuring ourselves
the hotel room was just once,
twice and the amount of time
it takes to stop counting.

I told myself these things
happen: a deli, a room, a man
with whom I never should
have, this man with whom
I did.

R A I N

Like you it hums softly.

It grows a green garden, too.

I believe you two are brothers
from a good family –

always nourishing with
just a touch.

And neither of you made
any promises to stay,

leaving sometimes for days
on business, then arriving

home again as if somewhere
else had needed you more.