Joseph Somoza

Separate Countries

Marty the cat
cries that I should stop
the wind,
though the red-throat finches
at the feeder
don’t seem bothered.
The wind blew in
last night.  There’s
evidence:  lawn chairs
sprawled and seed pods scattered
in the yard.
My ears this morning
feel as cold as in Chicago
by the lake

…………………..  when we’d go
walking to “the point”
after you got home
from work and I
rode the I.C. back
from classes.
You claimed corduroy
was warmer than denim,
an idea you’d formed
years earlier as a girl in Germany
who I didn’t even know
existed, and so could not
be there with you to
that what you considered fact
was just opinion.


Love Poem

When you’re not around, I’m
Nothing interests me
enough to pay attention.
My attention turns
and wonders
how life will be, life
that always seemed
so pleasant.
The moment you’re gone,
I notice
myself too much, see myself
as I think others
see me—
morose, self-absorbed,
incapable of reacting
with humor.
I remember in high school
envying the fatuous ones,
the ones so at ease with the girls
they could turn any
conversation witty.
Only when you’re around
am I able to be that way—
what today I would call
silly, light-hearted.
You give me the confidence
to smooth away



Now, I’ll look
at my recent poems
and see
they’re not as amazing
as I’d imagined.
And will I let it
depress me?
Isn’t the morning sky abundant
with clouds a rich enough
that red-breasted finch
at the feeder that
hangs from the locust—
the bamboo wind chimes
on this calm backdrop of a day
for people anxiously
driving to work
while I have the leisure
beside the wood fire
to let thoughts
like the smoke
and maybe move my hand to
on the page
on my lap
while from behind and above
float the sounds
doves make
when they wish to
call to each other.

© Joseph Somoza

Joseph Somoza retired from college teaching and poetry editing years ago to have more time for writing. He’s published 10 books and chapbooks of poetry over the years, most recently AS FAR AS I KNOW (Cinco Puntos Press, 2015). He lives in Las Cruces, New Mexico, with wife Jill, a painter.

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