I held the hem of my skirt above my knees,
exposing my bare legs to the breeze
and sidelong looks of the man with whom
I strolled among exotic blooms.
He admired their fragrances, their lush
colors. But he was suffering, flushed
and sweaty under the sun’s blaze
because he wore all black. His gaze
met mine, lingered. I gave, unasked,
the only thing I could: a flask
of water. He took it, trembling, and drank.
And when he offered me his thanks
I thought of that poem in French, comparing
the love-struck heart to a strawberry.
LEAVES & FISHES
Trudging home in a gritty drizzle,
I sweat, shiver, sniffle. My ears
are cold, listening to the sizzle
and hiss made by the passing cars.
All around me layers of fallen
leaves plaster the pavement, stick
to the sidewalks. Colors of dun,
rust, jaundice, slick upon the brick.
From underneath umbrellas, a glimpse
of faces briefly lit by street lamps,
I fancy the fallen leaves are fish --
enough for everyone to eat,
strewn in abundance at our feet.
Thinking back to childhood winters, I recall
how the yard around our house seemed immense.
(My parents hadn’t yet put up a fence
on either side, for privacy.) In those days all
the kids on our street knew each other
and played together: skating on the ditch’s
precarious puddles, sledding, pitching
snowballs, building forts (at which my brother
was an expert). But I liked to be alone
sometimes, making stories in my head.
Then I’d creep behind the padlocked shed
where frozen water in a bucket, mixed with stones
and berries and pine needles, could become
a magic soup that I pretended kept me warm.
Header art by T. Guzzio.
CONNECT WITH LISA:
Lisa DeSiro's poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Aethlon, Commonthought, Mezzo Cammin, Prodigal’s Chair, Rattle (online), Sixfold, The Healing Muse, and Thirty Days: The Best of the Tupelo Press 30/30 Project’s First Year. Poems of hers can be heard in musical settings on the albums Currents and Living in Light. Along with her MFA in Creative Writing from Lesley University, she has degrees from Binghamton University, Boston Conservatory, and Longy School of Music. She is employed as Production & Editorial Assistant for C.P.E. Bach: The Complete Works, and she is also an accomplished pianist. You can read more about her at https://thepoetpianist.com/.
ADD YOUR VOICE:
At Prodigal's Chair, thoughtful, honest interaction with our readers is important to our site's success. That's why we use Disqus as our comment / moderation system. Yes, you will need to login to leave a comment - with either your existing Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ account - or you can create your own free Disqus account. We do this for a couple of reasons: 1) to discourage trolling, and 2) to discourage spamming. Please note that Disqus will never post anything to your social network accounts unless you authorize it to do so. Finally, if you prefer you can always email comments directly to us by clicking here.