Pulling Up Beside My Husband at the Stoplight
We are going to the same place
but we take two cars.
Sunday morning and there’s not much traffic,
so I pull up beside him at the stoplight.
There he is, in his car,
beside my car,
the profile of his face in the window,
the brown of his hair against his neck. He turns
and blows me a kiss.
I watch it float on by. . . . I ask for another.
I remember then how he wakes me on the workday mornings,
his boots across the carpet of the dark bedroom,
the scent of his face when he locates me in the covers,
kisses my eyebrow and the corner of my mouth,
tells me the weather report
and the precise time of day.
So. . . I roll down my window, whistle in my throat,
pull my glasses crooked on my face,
do my best baboon snorting,
pound the horn as if it were bread dough.
There is only the lady in the white Buick,
but he is embarrassed, glad to see the green.
Me--I’m stepping on the gas, catching up,
wondering what I can do at 56th and Calvert.
The Sisters Play Canasta in a Snowstorm
The sister who can drive
picks up the others,
keeping the Pontiac chugging
in each driveway while each sister steps out,
pulling her door shut behind her,
pulling on her new Christmas stocking mittens.
We have no business out in such a storm, one says, laughing,
no business at all.
But the wind takes her words and swirls them
like snow across the windshield. It’s on to the next house,
the next sister. At the last house we play canasta,
the deuces wild, even as they were in childhood,
the wind blowing through the empty apple trees,
through the shadows of bumper crops.
They are kids again, planning a prank in a farmhouse
while a salesman gets out of his car with a briefcase.
Let’s drape a sheet over Margaret’s head--
Margaret will do it—our ghost
bobbing and moaning in the doorway
in broad daylight. We got rid of that one--
bring on the next one!
sure as barnyard dogs--we’re wild card players.
The snow thickens, the coffee perks,
and nothing is lost if it can be retold.
We’ll have to quit someday, one or the other says.
We are getting up there in the years. We’ll have to quit someday,
deal, sister, deal!
I Want to Say Sky
I want to say Sky
and hold it
like a huge blue bowl over us in the desert.
I want to say Cactus
and have night fall
and a single head-light star
show up between the arms of a saguaro.
I want to say Dry and then Not Dry
and have the Guadalupe Wash fill with blue water
and empty again to show white sand
and hundreds and thousands of blue blossoms
like a narrow river through the dry places,
fragrance from those flowers so very light
as to be imaginary
and you, real
and I, real
in a room with six windows,
old soft couch, couch with faded floral print
we sit upon and sink our bodies into
and relax together,
our cotton shirt lives opening,
our gold foil wrapped lives,
The One-Finger Wave
I say odd things like Hi Honey
to Lake Superior
when I round the bend on U.S. 61
and there she is.
Hi Honey to millions of cubic feet
of water and bedrock
I greet celestial bodies
like old friends.
How you doin’ to the full moon.
Good to see you again.
A greeting between wayfarers,
like the one-finger wave between ranchers
on the roads through the sandhills of Nebraska.
My car going north
meets a truck loaded with angus
At the precise moment,
the precise distance,
windshield to windshield,
my hands still on the wheel,
I lift my index finger
and the stranger does the same
as if to say:
in our most solitary orbits