Saturday, January 23, 2016

Three Poems by Kelley White

I Have Taken Back All The Post Cards

I ever sent you.  Why don't you ask me why
I don't want a mortgage instead of telling me
I need one.  Do I want to owe death?  Do I want
to leave my children with more debts than I
already owe them?  Sad mother, who wanted to be paid
with forgiveness.  Sad daughter, who wanted
acceptance.  The Dalai Lama might love
me, after all, I may be one with trees and clouds
and even that boat I brought my mother to see
each day in the summer, relying on its schedule
to count down, to scratch off another day.  the ice
is in now on the Lake, and she is denied even
the comfort of a cigarette, an unread book in her
hand, cards laid out for solitaire, and I have taken
back all the postcards I ever sent her.

If you, love, are my soul than who am I?

Listening to your breathing night by night by
night, whispering to your deafer ear love
can you hear me, pulling your arm around
me, hugging you always on your numbest
side?  Tonight I am alone, there is no
dent on your side of the bed, no warm spot
on your pillow just a whisper of what
ought to be your breathing.  Who drove you out?
And if you are gone, soul, am I thought and spirit?
Or dry flesh and hollow bone, sleeping alone?

My Interior Studio

is lit by the soft light of your snore
and rocked by the voice you speak
from your dream.  I try to find
a pencil to write your words into
the palm of my hand but they are always
rubbed out the moment of waking.

I hear you frying bacon, whipping eggs
in the kitchen and I try to remember
the poem you gave me while I
curled against your back.

You believe I inhabit your dream.
You believe I see your dreamworld.

I might remember your visions
even when you've unseen them
but if you feed me my hunger for darkness
breaks in the light of your eyes.

Pediatrician Kelley White worked in inner city Philadelphia and now works in rural New Hampshire.  Her poems have appeared in journals including Exquisite Corpse, Rattle and JAMA.  Her most recent books are Toxic Environment (Boston Poet Press) and Two Birds in Flame (Beech River Books).  She received a 2008 Pennsylvania Council on the Arts grant.

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