Russ Green


She knew a shortcut from the moon.
She took the back way.
She gave pennies for poems and sharpened
pencils on an old schoolroom crank.
There were thirty of them in her bag
at any given time and they were all sharp
enough to pierce the heart of a bug killing
bard. There were Malbecs in Montauk
with her family
and three different kinds of potatoes
because there was a potato war
in the kitchen between her sister
and her in-law.

Surfers rode waves projected
on the wall over the roaring
Thanksgiving fireplace.

Hip hop banana rock on the beach
with the niece dancing and singing
in great grandma’s fur lined coat.
Tours of the abandoned WWII German hunting
radar installation with the nephew.
Grandma set up house with us
in the big old manor on the hill.
It was twenty something with a windchill
of minus ridiculous blowing
off that Great Peconic Bay.
Enough to stick a fork into Fall
between those two big forks
and fork over a gravy boat
full of winter.

We had a delicate sense
of the raw salt wind breathing
heavy into wounds.
And don’t you know
the womb is made of chi?
That’s the Chinese word
for life energy and it was there
bleeding out of every corpuscle of
broccoli, bread, cranberry and crouton
that any ocean
would have been hanging
onto by the thinnest of threads.

It was about this time that the relevance
of clean clear communication between
the water’s edge and the falling
leaf was becoming undeniable.
The genuineness of endings and beginnings
was inimitable as a summer swan dive
into family sing-alongs on car rides
along the Connecticut River.

The sanguine sequence of falling mercury
sent shivers down an already traumatized
spine and the gulls gathering on the sea
rocks hardly noticed. They were flapping
their feathers in time with the wayward
wind of knowing with Robbins Island
looking on.