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Prairie Schooner 79.1 (2005) 130-132

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Five Poems

Postcard: Sept. 9/01

A nuthatch slams into the bay
window. The ledge catches her,
keeps her from the cat's mouth,
but she stays there, stunned, caught
by the betrayal of air turned suddenly
solid. How could she ever move
past this moment without the grace
of necessity? How could any of us?

Postcard: September 11/01

The rain-split plums
have been falling
in the orchard, the ground
so littered now the numbers
no longer have meaning. [End Page 130]

Postcard: Oct. 17/01, NYC

At Battery Park my friend
& I lean into a harsh wind
while he points out the Statue
of Liberty. Behind us, armed soldiers
in forest camouflage are grimly watching.
We are fresh from Ground Zero, & coughing
into the wind. Neither of us mentions
what it is comes out of our lungs.

Postcard: Oct. 18/01, NYC

On the subway an old
Polish man takes me in charge,
rides two stops past his own
to make certain I find
the right place to get off. When I try
to thank him, he shakes his head
no, forget it. No one, he says,
should be lost when someone else
knows the way. [End Page 131]

Postcard: Jan. 8/02

In the upturned cup of a rat's skull,
green with moss; in the hollow
of a scabbed apple left for the hungry
birds; in a cleft of the granite
rock by the garden's edge; in the half shell
of a robin's egg turned slant
in the compost; in the rotted
rind of a squash; in the curved chip
of a broken bowl of fired clay: rain
from two days past, last night, & today
Samuel Green is the author of nine books, including Vertebrae: Poems 1978-1994 (Eastern Washington UP), and the co-publisher of Brooding Heron Press. His poems appear in Poetry, Southern Poetry Review, and Poetry Northwest.



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