Sunday, April 12, 2015

Trish Saunders- Two Poems


On the afternoon of the day the Spanish poet was murdered,
you sat in the safety of your overstuffed armchair,
fanned yourself with dead palm leaves and drank a dry
Manhattan. Let’s say it was Beefeater’s gin. You laid down
for a nap after, wondered why beads of sweat broke out on your
brow though windows were wide open, blankets flung on the floor.

Meanwhile, the poet who wrote of the city that never, ever sleeps
with iguanas was very much awake in the back seat of the car,
guessing at what lay ahead. You were 20 in 1935, and like the
beloved poet, you were gay.  

You did not tell anyone of this; not a single friend or family knew.
This concealment shredded your soul. You are old now, too tired
for this part. Leave Lorca, dreaming of apples in his Spanish grave,
tend to your aged plum trees, with fruit full of worms. 

KANSAS CITY TRAIN STATION, 1929                                                               

My father’s father waits on the platform  
wearing Sunday best.  Early sunlight  
fingers shiny elbows, 
knee-sprung trousers, his
shined shoes.

He leans into the wind, as farmers do.
He is 29 and

America’s full of hard-faced men, my lad.
They drive big Cads! Carry big gats!

Discarded Kansas City Star  
blows across the tracks. 
Far away, a train whistle.

If anyone is still coming,
please come now.
Dear God,
please—right now.

Trish Saunders lives in Seattle and Honolulu, where she enjoys spying on rare birds. 

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