A triolet: Epistemology of the coffee house

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall
This entry is part 11 of 14 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Summer 2014

 

Sunlight that syncs in and out; broody skies, no birds.
We wait out the wet spell, coffee in hand, after first
asking the dark-haired barista for the wireless password.
Sunlight that syncs in and out; broody skies, no birds.
Nearby, a teen plugged into his earphones Skypes words
of mixed English, Italian. Steam and chatter: our cursives.
Sunlight that syncs in and out; broody skies, no birds.
We wait out the wet spell, coffee in hand; not a first.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Keepsakes

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall
This entry is part 12 of 14 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Summer 2014

 

For what occasion did I save
that ill-fitting suit, those shoes
that pinched, that jeweled clutch

worn only one other time before I
put all away and lined the bags
with mothballs? I still have the two

white underskirts adorned with tiny
satin rosebuds made for my First Communion;
and the jade green blouse and skirt I wore

when I got hitched a second time.
Among the baby shoes and embroidered
bedspreads, there is an envelope too

in which I’ve kept relics— hair and nail
clippings, birth-cords: four dried, indigo-
colored discs smaller than stamps,

threaded through their hearts by safety
pins to paper, the way that mothers like
to keep their daughters close.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

Call and response

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall
This entry is part 13 of 14 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Summer 2014

 

You call and I serve
because you gave me
a name that means hover,
watch over. I give up
and defer, make way,
beg pardon, squeeze
into the narrow
back passage in my
coming and going.
There’s a button
inlaid in the floor,
its purpose
my summons. And I
no longer recall
what it’s like
not to start
at the sound
of my name.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.

What need is there

holloway overhung with ancient trees n Cornwall
This entry is part 14 of 14 in the series Morning Porch Poems: Summer 2014

 

for another poem to document
the clack of acorns falling
from the tree,

for another poet to sit
at a table cleared of all
but oil stains from some
previous feast?

What urgency requires
a document be made of things
that the mouth has tasted,
all the secrets slipped

into the body’s crevices?
Why whittle songs
out of the ordinariness
of days, their thinning larder

and their pickled stores?
Someone counts the stones
that lead up the temple steps.
Someone weighs the grains,

pours them into burlap sacks.
And someone draws the tiller
from one end of the row to another,
before turning around again.

 

In response to an entry from the Morning Porch.