Jim Moore: Two Poems
My Mother and I at the Drive-in When I Was a Boy | To a Young Woman Whose Hurt Has Never Stopped
My Mother and I at the Drive-in When I Was a Boy
So there we were, and out of the darkness
images appeared. Luminous,
the sea in moonlight curling whitely
on the shore. William Holden is on one knee
trying hard to hold back the tears.
You can tell he is in love,
and love will fail. This very failure,
like the kiss
that wakes the princess after a hundred years,
will make love again possible for him.
Afterwards, we drive past acres of soybeans.
We are silent. What is there to say, ever,
in the presence of such happiness?
To a Young Woman Whose Hurt Has Never Stopped
Yesterday, I listened carefully.
How you were broken, and again broken.
How you were trained to the breaking.
We stood at the edge of a river.
You looked down as you spoke,
as someone does who is shy.
But what did I hear as you spoke?
I heard your pale forehead.
I heard the trembling in your fingers.
I heard the silence of the birds
all around us, as if they knew
someone was speaking who must be heard.
And out of that silence you spoke.
Even the crow stood mute
under his black hood.
Even the crow knew to listen.
Jim Moore is the author of five books of poetry, including his most recent, The
Long Experience of Love from Milkweed Editions, and How We Missed Belgium, a collaboration with Deborah Keenan.
He coedited, with Cary Waterman, the anthology Minnesota Writes: Poetry, also from Milkweed Editions.
His work has been widely published in magazines and anthologies, and he is the recipient of several fellowships
and awards, including grants from the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Bush Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, and a Minnesota Book Award. He has been a teacher of writing for over twenty years. He lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, and is married to the photographer JoAnn Verburg.