The Cottage

“. . . The smell of earth turned by a trowel.”

Since Poetry Breakfast was kind enough to publish another of my poems today, I’m going to take time out of the month of poets I admire to put it here on my blog too.  I hope you’ll stop by and take a look at the Poetry Breakfast site.  One of my favorites.

 

I’ve grown quiet here. My mind
has opened to woodsong
and the smell of earth turned
by a trowel.

I enjoy solitude, even when regrets
or the throb of an old lover happen by.
Sometimes I invite them in, make
a ritual of teacups on starched linen,
a silver server for the scones.
We reminisce ’til shadows trace
across the floor, call them away.

Afterwards, I tidy up, wipe away
drops spilled in the pouring. I save
the leftovers though they’re getting stale.
I may crumble them on the porch rail
tomorrow for sparrows
before I garden.

– Sarah Russell
 First published in Poetry Breakfast

I lost summer somewhere

Sorry.  Gotta take a “me” moment in this month of celebrating mostly other people’s poetry.  Poetry Breakfast is one of my favorite online journals, and they honored me by publishing one of my poems this morning.  You can read it on their site along with other fine poems (and follow their site to get a poem for breakfast every morning) or read it here.

I lost summer somewhere
in the wildflowers, woke
to trees blushing at my disregard,
wind hurrying the clouds along.
I should have seen the signs.
I watched geese abandon their twigged
April nests, pin-feathered goslings
ripple ponds listless with July. Now they rise
gray against the gray sky, skeining south
before first snows.

I’ll stay here, I tell them. I’ll air out
cedared cardigans, chop carrots
for the soup tonight, cross
the threshold of the equinox,
try not to stumble.

Sarah Russell
First published in Poetry Breakfast

 

P.S.  New prompts are up on the Prompts page.

Double Shift

The diner glows fluorescent at 2 a.m.

IMG_1963

The diner glows fluorescent at 2 a.m.,
beckons boozers and truckers, runaways,
women between men.

Mary receives them
as her namesake received Gabriel,
pours coffee unbidden, tends
to coconut cream and lemon meringue,
eggs over easy, a malt for the guy
with stringy hair, jittery for a fix.

She saves her tips in a pickle jar
under the grill — enough, she hopes,
to post 50 bucks for her old man’s bail
come morning.

Sarah Russell
First published in Kentucky Review
Photo:  Diners, Delis & Dives

P.S.  New prompts are up on the Prompts page

Winter Hawk

 

IMG_1955

He holds vigil in a ravaged tree,
his fields, once tall with corn,
now snow-tipped stubble.

He accepts the unforgiving wind,
the cold, thin light – not wishing
for tomorrow or warmth or spring –
alive only in what is.

I close my eyes, clear my mind
of stubble in my own fields,
gather Now around me like feathers,
like breath.

When I look again, he rises
on fierce, decisive wings –
his crimson tail as brilliant in the January sky
as truth.

 Sarah Russell
First published in Prey Tell

If I Had Three Lives

After “Melbourne” by the Whitlams

If I had three lives, I’d marry you in two.
The other? Perhaps that life over there
at Starbucks, sitting alone, writing – a memoir,
maybe a novel or this poem. No kids, probably,
a small apartment with a view of the river,
and books – lots of books, and time to read.
Friends to laugh with, and a man sometimes,
for a weekend, to remember what skin feels like
when it’s alive. I’d be thinner in that life, vegan,
practice yoga. I’d go to art films, farmers markets,
drink martinis in swingy skirts and big jewelry.
I’d vacation on the Maine coast and wear a flannel shirt
weekend guy left behind, loving the smell of sweat
and aftershave more than I did him. I’d walk the beach
at sunrise, find perfect shell spirals and study pockmarks
water makes in sand. And I’d wonder sometimes
if I’d ever find you.

Sarah Russell
First published in Silver Birch
Winner of the Poetry Nook contest

Republished in Autumn Sky Poetry Daily