Thursday, January 1, 2009

Joyce Middlestead


his stereo bass
thuds through the wall
into her head
her pounding head
her little fingers drum counter
pointas she whispers to the dog
in the red bandana
it’s okay, cowboy
cars pull up under the street light
guys with red eyes slink to his door
then leave with faces of stone
fingering bags in deep pockets
he stands on the sidewalk
under the stolid moon
and stares at her window
behind the curtain
eyes dark and damp
she clutches the dog to the
thud thud of her heart
she chain smokes till her latest girl arrives
with her satin shirt
silky hair
and eyes wild with secret
she can’t begin to understand

Rapt in rose petals

you were
always bound by your solitude
in that deepheartless
well i should have known
a blue patch of promise couldn’t help
you climb i might have
seen but i was
rapt in rose petals and
didn’t feel your

Calgary Towers

glass morning
reflects silence over the city
high into winter
stabs of mountains on
the white west
we gaze
saying nothing but
a ricochet
concrete walls
concrete walls
we don’t touch
i want to
seize truth by its
savage neck and
shake it in your face
you hide so well
looking down

-all poems previously published in Crossing Place Anthology 2003

Paper Doll

his farmer hands
scrape her skin like sandpaper
they are meant to
work the land and till the field
she holds a teacup
as awkwardly as he holds a lady
she is strong
but always fragile in those hands
a paper doll with a paper heart
hissing in her paper head
but eyes down
in the bitter summer soil
she can still hear
the stars

Night dream

you slipped
into my dream
breath hot on my neck
hardness to softness my body
needed your need and
breath fluttered like a
strange bird exploded from
that black tunnel of
night to awake alone
lean shadows
barren blackness
the wind worried the tarp
covering the firewood while
i swung the axe
cut the damning cord

-poem previously published in Conjunction: 2002 Calgary Stroll Anthology

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