IN CONGRESS PARK ON A LUNCH BREAK FROM A JOB IN RETAIL
Hundreds of white clover are flowering
with purpose. Each small head jiggles
in the breeze and I tell them about the patch
of violets I mow around each summer
that is wider every spring. I tell them
because they’re listening, about the manager
and her imperious clothes, about her assistant
who picks at her loose threads, drapes
them like a veil over his dusty head.
They tell me in their chirping voices to hold
that patch of violets close to me, the eloquent
purple, those heart shaped leaves.
But the owner! I shriek, he travels to Tibet
to meditate on his choice of good fortune.
Their green voices ripple with tiny urgency
Our thin roots listen when the cold stone speaks
The breeze picks up, ruffling their spiky petals
Let the hair on your skin listen now.
DISSOLVING THE DISTANCE BETWEEN YOU
for Marly and Josie
Pour water over the deeply frozen earth
skate deftly across the divide
Boil maple sap in the open air
the aroma a soft lure
Aim your arrows at flocks of words spoken
but not meant, follow the path of strewn feathers
Measure the gulf between you with an inaccurate ruler
one that shifts scale between atoms and stars
Nap in the full sun, let the sprouting grass rise
through your bones, wake up side by side
Collect pebbles, the close attention to ground
will bring you to the same stone
Talk to the wind, forget what you’re looking for, touch the petals
of flowers with no thought for a vase, give up ever arriving at the door
It’s the black crow intoning from a seed of dream
That’s the syllable that will save you
Carol Graser has run the poetry reading series at Saratoga’s legendary Caffè Lena since 2003 and has performed her work at various events and venues around New York. Her work has been published in many literary journals and she is the author of the poetry collection, The Wild Twist of Their Stems (Foothills Publishing 2007).