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The Laurel Poetry Collective: Gallery

Tom Ruud: "Antiphonal" | K. Alma Peterson: "November" | Mary L. Junge: "Persuasion" | Pam Wynn: "Miscarriage"

Tom Ruud: "Antiphonal"

There's no rubric to tell me what I mean
calling to the cardinal in the mulberry tree.

The only bird that answers, he can't decide
what my whistling wants, keeps piping

back, plucky for clues, bending over
his pulpit, peering down. Back

and forth, mimicking timbre and tone,
what he begins I can't add to, practically

autistic in my plastic lawn chair—
Hey There! Hey There (What)! Hey There!

Hey There (What)!—the What hanging,
mute grace note in the rafters of the yard.

K. Alma Peterson: "November"

        —for Bill Simon

Nadir in the season of grief, when leaflessness
exposes every tangle in the open woods, when blue
describes not sky but state of mind: nothing primary
has to do with color, rather, with feathers for flight,
feathers at the distal portion of wing.

On the pond, geese by the hundreds rest
folded-in upon themselves in child's pose.
One or two unbend, extend wings, cranking
like cantankerous old men: bellyachers.

I remember how we loved to hear them
honking overhead, see them fanned-out
like soldiers across shorn fields, troops
with intimate knowledge of the terrain.

He could have done without the deciduous drama—
green to red, dead, green again. Leave it alone,
he'd say, more as a suggestion than command,
more to make it easier: the going south.

Mary L. Junge: "Persuasion"

The red hibiscus surprises
on this eighteenth day of October.
It does not know I meant to let it die—
That I decided to stop watering it in September—
That three frost warnings
Did not convince me to cover it—
That I wanted to be finished with it

And its mess—
Did not waht to bring it inside
Where it would become
My winter obligation.
But the sun burned hot
Coaxing open a single red bloom,
Economical as a sudden kiss.

Pam Wynn: "Miscarriage"

A woman in a white, sleeveless dress
Printed with small daisies

Her hair pulled back
in a rubber band

Opens the door
To the empty house.

Her husband parks the car
In the garage.

The woman sits
In the new Boston rocker.

The window box
is eye level.

She stares at the purple
Pansies about to open.

"One in five ends like this,"
The doctor said.

"You're young. There will be others,"
Her friends said.

Her husband hesitates
As he enters.

The woman stands,
Slowly walks to the bedroom,

Places the white
Crocheted blanket, the yellow

Booties, the tiny knitted sweater
in a clear plastic bag.

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"Antiphonal" appears in Pulling For Good News (St. Paul: The Laurel Poetry Collective, 2004). Copyright 2004 by Tom Ruud. "November" appears in A New Name for the Sun (St. Paul: The Laurel Poetry Collective, 2003). Copyright 2003 by K. Alma Peterson. "Persuasion" appears in Pilgrim Eye (St. Paul: The Laurel Poetry Collective, 2004). Copyright 2004 by Mary L. Junge. "Miscarriage" appears in Diamonds on the Back of a Snake (St. Paul: The Laurel Poetry Collective, 2003). Copyright 2003 by Pam Wynn. All selections reprinted with permission from The Laurel Poetry Collective.

© 1999 - 2003, by the poets featured herein.