Marie Gray Wise

Another Poem in Which You Appear

you’ve made it difficult,
 to write about you.

from Keats to cummings
poets have loved to flatter you
                       and you let them.

now,  your name in a title or first line
frightens reluctant readers who believe
they know all about you.

and they’re right—

after all              your descriptions    
gorged               on junk adjectives
or starved of brisk metaphors

disc, balloon, galleon
clock, lantern, pale, bright
                       and the very popular gibbous.

even though you draw
joyous thousands each month
                       to watch you preen

the idea     of you          on the page
hangs worn         faded.

isn’t your basic problem that
                       no words
ancient      or modern
                       can catch

or match     your luminosity
or your ability to reflect
                       whatever it is we seek.


Not That I Don’t Want to Practice Mindfulness

it begins with a mind twist—
to wiggle out of bad feelings—

face them       don’t run
I thank my habit of fight over flight
for knowing step one—
……………..stand where you are

step two grates into the bone—
……………..accept all arrows and missiles

take them by the hand to rooms
of bright yellow

bathe them, feed them
wrap them in soft robes

adorn them with your birthstone
listen to their whispers

and perhaps a song will appear
without music


In Palermo

I pose in front of the rich stone
of the cathedral’s portico,
my husband a dark shadow
as he readies to take the picture.

Behind him, an old man spits
on the courtyard,
an old woman crumbles
on the cathedral steps
hugging a flat pan in her lap for coins,  
and a young man walks toward me
waving Saint Rosalia holy cards
splayed like a full house.

My husband calls from the shadow—
And I smile as he clicks.


In South Carolina

Taken quickly
by a stranger named Joe
my heart rises

Above us the fan spins and hums
about the end of summer
The edge of the air
beats long white curtains
out an open window

The pink tablecloth blinks
when he crosses the room
opens the door 
and flies out in a quick blur

My heart rises
in some small restaurant
on some vacation
in South Carolina

© Marie Gray Wise

 Marie Gray Wise‘s work has appeared or is forthcoming in various literary journals including Loch Raven ReviewI-70 Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, English Journal, U S 1 Worksheets, The Paterson Literary Review,  Hamilton Stone Review, The Café Review, and Naugatuck River Review. She is a retired English teacher who has lived most of her life in South Jersey except for an adventure in San Francisco where she found a husband and dragged him East.

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