Friday, May 24, 2024

The Poetry Corner

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By Norah Christianson

It’s time for some love. The world is a mess, horror is afoot, governments are nuts, we’re murdering our earth, and there’s enough hate in the world to wither the soul to ash.

There is that. But there is also love. I saw it the other day in ShopRite when two old guys scuffled towards each other and hugged and hugged and whooped and laughed—their joy most definitely stemming from love. I saw love when I walked into the kitchen last night and caught sight of my son and his fiancé murmuring and canoodling next to the broom closet. I saw love in my classroom last week when one of my emotionally challenged students was comforting his afflicted classmate, patting him on the shoulder, whispering, “ It’s o.k., you’re cool, it’s o.k.”

I wish some happy little entrepreneur would create a start-up business making bumper stickers that read, “LOVE HAPPENS”—-to compliment that other bumper sticker reminding us  that “SHIT HAPPENS.” Both do happen, but we often tend to fasten on the negative one as being more real.

There will always be love. And where there is love, there will always be lovers to put love into practice. Here’s a poem of mine documenting my observations of such love.

Lovers in their Ambits, Me in Mine

By Norah Pollard

The places where I like to walk
are also places where the lovers go.
I’ll walk along the empty beach at dusk
while the sun’s torching the horizon
and the Port Jeff ferry is beetling
its little lit self
into the dark side of the world,
and as I’m climbing over the breakwater,
there they’ll be,
dovetailed in each other’s arms,
snug tight against the seawall’s boulders
so I only notice them after I’ve
rattled shells into their spell.

Or sometimes I’ll be walking down
Shore Road making note of
three swans all twisting their necks
to the left in a loop so they are
their own feather boa,
or I’ll be poking a big dead fish
lolling on his picked clean spine,
his head nodding yeses with the river flow,
when—Sweet stoats!—there the lovers are again,
sweet breathing in the rushes,
kissing wild.

I avoid cars. If they’re parked
down near the dock when the tide is
turning the river around,
when the wind’s licking up
the boozey waves like a drunk
and the moon’s upstaging the sunset
so the moon’s on one side of everything
thin and cool as love’s pimp
and the red sun’s on the other
like an old showgirl fan-dancing
herself off stage—
you can bet, on those evenings,
they’ll be lovers inside the cars
fogging up the windows
fiddling with lips and zippers,
hose and noses,
setting off the horn,
French kissing their way
to Morocco.

And I’ll be looking the other way,
pleased, and in a funny way made shy,
picking lupine off the banks,
luffing alone past Mac’s Harbor
towards home.

Norah Pollard is the pen name for Norah Christianson. Pollard lives in Stratford, amd is a lover of coffee cake, books, wine, costume jewelry, and several humans. She’s managed to raise two mannerly kids, has published six books of poetry, and teaches Creative Writing at Bridge House in Bridgeport. She is very old.

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