Poetry / Poets / Writers / Writing

3 Poems by Joris Soedling

Cleaving to this Considered

I can’t remember recent days where I didn’t run from rain
but that only lasts for so many hours

the sweet of wetness prolonged by red cedars
faraway tops of trees, fog
planes and a patient swivel until breaking water for merely arrival

I already familiar with the afternoon orchestra
and not because of past lives

storming soon lost among mountains
it is time
to walk in this unusual drowsiness

November 27, 1973

Rather than bedtime, picture abduction
in a white nightgown, instead of makeup
pigtails and ribbons and Samantha’s barely eight
with board games and a brother at twelve
yelling at her for changing channels from Nixon

Night having begun with arguments to remain unpassed
some bedrooms are impossible safe
it starts like overdone Christmas lights
a slow turning doorknob, whiteness
the outline of them
little girl without weight through a window
Fox, her last word for the time being
maybe this is why a brother refuses answering to that
and all which can be owned is her name four times

Closing January on Seventh Avenue

after crouching, teary-eyed of the father and his breathing
we decide on lunch at Lindy’s Diner
known for their cheesecake
you order the Bette Midler (Nova Scotia salmon
on an English muffin with onions and lettuce)
and Dorothy in her light demeanor
brings me the Nathan Lane (a chicken breast club
with fries and two pickle spears)
she remembers the mayo on the side

Sharon is sitting in the booth behind you
smiling at what the gentleman next to her says
left hand shaking slightly with each sip of coffee
while peeking at the TV behind the bar
which seems like only commercials
then interrupted by a program about bridges

I seem star struck, enamored by the chance
of all the restaurants in this city
you laugh and I’m so lucky you get it
that we’re somewhat away from the conference
the sun has reached our table
revel in the quiet with you
before scaffolding and free newspapers
as from the woman in the pink kimono
near the gentleman who wished us a happy new year

Joris Soeding is the author of the poetry chapbooks Surfaces Diminished and Trees. Otherness. Instance. His poems have appeared in publications such as Columbia Poetry Review, MiPOesias, Pebble Lake Review, San Pedro River Review, Spillway, The Prose-Poem Project. He is the Grade 5 Reading and Writing teacher at Philip Rogers Elementary School in Chicago, where he resides with his wife, son, daughter, and cat.


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