Marjorie Maddox

Duo of Dusk and Past

Always
the high notes crack
at the edge of sunset,
then slide past horizon into
never.

Never
into then. Past horizons slide
toward sunset. At the edge,
cracks sound high notes
always.

All Souls’ Day, 2018

Even now, awash in the world’s weeping,
Joyce, Richard, Rose,
they do not rise, but float,
bloated reminders of hope
Jerry, Cecil, David, drowned, drowning,
tense too often a matter of attention
to soul or soul-
full of what we’ve lost,
Bernice, Simon, Daniel,
the memory and the chanting
twinned tightly to whatever
belief we sing, whatever
Melvin, Irving, bodies we cradle
in the dark grave of corruptibility.
O slain cousins of ancient faith,
pray this day for us.

Not-so-hostile Takeover

All red-hot July,
            yellow bobs
                        in a sea of green
                                    until a blue breeze
                                                            and gray time
finally take aim,
            fire a whiff of wind
                        across wispy white seeds
                                    that parachute far and wide,
                                                            house to house, yard to yard
and all is gold,                             Gold,                                  GOLD!

The Day I’m Supposed to Read Poems on Blizzards a Blizzard Arrives

And it whirls me up into white—pages twirling
out and away, cold the stranger in the front row
I owe an ode to when all I have are ballads
on blizzards, like the one that uncovered
for my father a stranger’s still-pulsing pump
in a pile of wrecked cars, yes, that one,
plus other assorted disasters of the heart
and will, which—piled up these weather-
stricken days—did, I confess to sleet,
give me the survivor’s desire to not
careen down the blank highway
past ditches and near-misses
to read to an audience
of no one—everyone
else with a backbone
of sense/sensibility
hunkering down,
as I did after all,
here by my
electric fire
typing
ice.

A boy and a girl

hold my hands into the next decade,
their minute fingers tightening
by the second over the life-lines of my palms,
a Morse-code of blood tapping through the skin
we share, bodies clasped like chromosomes.
Our threesome two-step is together and apart,
similarly ticking our differences.
here will our feet and hands click us
on this new giant clock, calculating the years
with such loving and hostile precision? 

                        Snowboarding Live at the Olympics

               Lose the wheels and score with so-cool-you’re-cold,
       better-than-a skateboard, foot-sleds for snow that alley-oop
   through air with dare-you’s as slick as any acrobat’s triple flips,
          as tricky as a magician’s slight-of-wrist that’s now just
                  feet and hips jiving for that perfect winter 10.

~~~

Professor of English at Lock Haven University, Marjorie Maddox has published 11 collections of poetry, What She Was Saying (prose), 4 children’s/YA books, including Inside Out: Poems on Writing and Reading Poems with Insider Exercises; the anthology Common Wealth: Contemporary Poets on Pennsylvania (PSU Press), and Presence(assistant editor). www.marjoriemaddox.com

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