Allan Peterson: Three Poems
Supply and Demand | Weightless Vacation | New Leaves
Supply and Demand
History is heartbreak stretched flat to catch the wind
made of tension and weather.
Bill shouts from the water, not nicely, not emergency,
just sending his wife on little errands
of demand and supply.
She comes bunching the jib like an apron. He hauls main
as if faking surrender.
Between two angels is a fix, and wings, as they are
swept out to inevitable.
Some days the bay is a host of angels, a watery clinic
helping the ketch and sloop-rigged catboats,
and the damaged passengers, some one-winged themselves,
some double angels.
From such shapes the pyramids, the diaper, the side yard
on a sunny day,
comes the test where you lean one way, then trust the other
as you fall, to care, to save you.
By the motel window I saw it all, the sliver
of scenes on the hair's-breadth horizon,
the travel clock that stopped traveling
when I didn't wind it, the rockets
slung above Florida.
But there was too much coincidence:
the astronaut, space baby and its umbilicus,
some stars pinkish, others blue,
the blue mother and the silver placenta,
baby's first few helpless steps,
my dead clock daily telling the right time twice.
New leaves are making a print dress for the ocean.
Then the ones in front jigsaw to form new animals.
Behind them come others with every gust
and the dress is gone, and the nervous beings in the hedge
shuffle back and forth like cards.
For this to matter we must first share bodies
though structure is guesswork.
That accomplished, nothing is foreign,
not the philosophy glimpsed in the society of waxwings
leafing in one motion the trees along Palafox,
not a supposed gold heaven with no trees or restaurants.
Allan Peterson's poetry has been published recently in The Notre Dame Review, Shenandoah, Iron Horse Literary Review, Southern Poetry Review, and Drexel Online Journal. He was the featured poet in The Adirondack Review's Spring 2002 issue. His full-length poetry collection, "Anonymous Or," was published by Defined Providence Press after winning its 2001 book competition. A 5-time Pushcart Prize nominee, his awards include an NEA Fellowship in Poetry and a Florida Artist Fellowship for Poetry.