Two new poems

I had two poems published by Rat’s Ass Review yesterday. Cool name, huh?

Here are the poems:

CHANCE
 
Beneath the blare
and buzz of station crowd
I thought, just now,
I caught
 
that old pet name
you used so long ago—
to torment, to tease,
and to endear.
 
Anxiously,
I scan the faces
with care—
looking for?
 
What do we
hold to
in the passing
of our years?
 
What do we
fail to?
By choice
and reason?
 
Or is it just
the pick
of a card
in a well-mixed deck?
 
If I had
a hundred lives
like this one
would I remember you
 
in one, or nearly all?
Or would I come up
as empty
as I do today?
 
 
RETICENCE
 
By now, we gravitate
to a few familiar places—
today we are camped out
in our local bar—
dark and dank.
But it’s cool,
the beer is cold,
and we have
been coming here
since we were
barely legal.
 
It’s an odd comfort
that nothing
has changed
in more
than thirty years,
the tables
still etched
with the names
of long dead loves—
hearts and arrows.
 
Have I told you
about Marty?
My old friend,
a man of few words,
prefers an occasional grunt
to sustained conversation.
And that works for me—
I love to talk
and the grunts
are enough
to convince me
I’m not talking
to myself
 
But today he is
busting to tell
me something.
So I go on and on
about the five bucks
Sal owes me
from a bet on the Mets
and watch him twitch
and try to be polite.
 
Finally,
As I pause
To drink my beer,
He says—
with a face
I’d never seen before,
“I ran into my dad
Last night in the diner.
 
And, it’s as if
a dam had burst.

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2 Responses to Two new poems

  1. maryrohrerdann says:

    Wow, Steve. You are the sage of growing older. You whittle it down to the essence; the tears are just below the surface.

    And yeah, love that journal’s title is very cool. A good title to try to write a poem that earns its place!
    congrats,
    m

    Mary Rohrer-Dann

    “Tell me, what is it you plan to do
    with your one wild and precious life?”

    Mary Oliver “The Summer Day”

    Like

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