Poems from BARE BRANCHES >
Other Poems not in books


Not even a breeze tonight.
The moon looks like a monocle
worn by a judge, the blackness
his robe. He wants truth, won't
let me hide. I plead I was given
a road map that's sketchy.
He tells me everyone's is.

Sha’arei Shalom

Who knows what dead people talk about.
For sure my husband plays with Sarah 1992-1995
whose stone says, so clever, so funny.
She has pocket-sized dolls and stone animals
bundled to withstand the wind,
and almost always fresh cut flowers.

I tell John the important news––Josh,
now a graduate of Montecito Preschool,
with Derron to help hold the garden hose,
watered down the kitchen while Holly napped.

No need to tell him Arnold Schwarzenegger
is now our governor. It’s not his concern.
I tell him I saw twelve deer near the mausoleum,
that bos and om grew to a size C––that the doctor
says this is not unusual for women my age.

A violinist from the San Francisco Symphony
lies near John. I assume she knows by now
that John is tone deaf, but I suspect his humor
has her doting on him anyway.
He once sang Love Me Tender off key
into the phone at the kitchen sink pretending
for Geri he was Elvis in the shower.

When it’s time to say good–bye, I lie down on John
in front of my future neighbors, kiss the grass,
pick up dried leaves, the remains of a rose
and a sunflower the deer ate for dinner.        

© 2011 Stephanie Mendel. All rights reserved.