Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Two Chairs \ She And I

Alan:  Another road poem.  The chairs are gone now, and I couldn’t tell you when they vanished or even quite where they once were.
Two Chairs
            For Nancy, 8/28/96
The two chairs
at the edge of the field
which slants upward
from the highway’s rim to sky
are always there,
as the field is always there
between the dark belts of summer
a lusher green
in a world of green
beyond the blacktop
and the stripes
of the breakdown lane
and the two southbound lanes
and the median strip
which obscures the view
of the farther side.
The chairs
are glimpsed
out of the corner of the eye
while driving
or held for a few seconds
in a passenger’s swiveled
near each other
and slightly turned
as if in conversation
or holding a space
like a bookmark
between pages of a story
that is not yet finished
but has been set aside.
They always
appearing suddenly
in the endless line of trees,
in the rush of daytime traffic
or the solitary sleepy
late-night miles,
their very interruption
of the blurred vacancy of roadside
creating a presentment
that lasts long after
the woods snap closed.
Who might have put them there,
and why,
and do they come
from beyond the horizon,
when we do not see,
seating themselves,
some quiet discussion
or simply watching
for a time
the passing trucks and cars,
after a slow and
silent walk
through tall or new-mown grass?
Nancy:  A bear can certainly leave a substantial calling card after gorging on blueberries.  The dogs walked waaay around.
She And I
The bears I always name She.
She came in the night.
She came in the night, and she
tore the heavy fencing; she bent it
and ripped it from the posts.
Or she came in the day, saw me
and hustled her cub off the road.
We stared, mother and child and I
across the dogwood flowers.
And she comes in August.
She came today,
and when I went down the lane
I saw she had left me a message:
   I ate your berries
   and they were good.