Saturday, November 16, 2013

Gene McCormick- Three Poems

The Persistence Of Drops

Windshield wipers sweep half-moon circles,
brushing aside rain spatter
before it angles, meanders, wends
to the bottom of the glassy shield,
the wipers in metronomic repetition
no matter the persistence of drops.
Right to left and back creating a clear slate
excepting unfettered raindrops
couched under the arc of the wipers; even more
settling beyond reach of flexible rubber blades.
Gray sky spreads across an ochre platform,
the horizon line unobstructed by glassy beads
but late in the fall the chilling rain doesn’t
green-up grass or trees or shrubs.
Everything is just wet.

The Beauty Behind
The Donut Shop Counter

An attractive thirty-ish émigré from Cambodia
sits on a corner stool behind the shops counter
watching her husband use stainless steel tongs
to pluck donuts from wire shelving
as Sunday morning after-church customers
select sugar-coated preferences.
Cell phone flat against her ear, she
smiles large, revealing small, even teeth
while speaking in her native language.

During the week she works the donut shop alone,
showing off a new lipstick color,
deep red, almost purple,
and bright red platform shoes with yellow straps
complementing toenails painted green.
This is the woman she is when her husband
is not around to serve up confections.


Emmit Street

Rubbing the palm of his left hand hard
without looking at it.
Really no point to it, to rubbing it.
Doesn’t itch. Just needs rubbing.
Pushing out of the recliner, Ed walks out of the
upstairs workspace, along the hardwood hallway,
turns right at the stairs, down to the first floor,
crosses the foyer to the family room.
Hooked up to a satellite dish, the sound system
offers any type of music, any time.
Today the choice is old-time rock and roll,
the Stones edging Chuck Berry and The Doors.
Adjusting the sound, he looks around,
opens the bar cabinet, pulls out Jack Daniels.
Jack & Jagger. Jack & Mick. Better rescue than 911.
Listens to Sir Mick rock out; a loose soul.
Fills the glass half full, turns the sound higher,
listens to cars drive by, tires on wet pavement.
It has been raining all day. Need the rain.
Sam the black lab liked rain. Been dead two years.
Clanks a few ice cubes in the glass of Jack,
turns up the Stones tune
just short of window-rattling,
retraces his steps back up the stairs
thinking he should have stayed downstairs.
Wet tires on pavement make a soothing hiss,
and the glass in his hand is near empty.
Fuck the recliner, to himself, I’m not dead yet,
standing by the hall window looking down
on a yard of straw-colored grass.
Yes, we need the rain, he thinks.
Sam would be out there,
chasing, rivulets running off his back and nose.

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