Drawing by Judith Wolfe

ROBERT JAMES BERRY /

Two Poems



      House

      morning and evening shadows walk the cracked walls
      The thick chalk paint peels and
      the wooden window shutters split

      The hot season can coax voices from this house
      Open its broken binding like a book

      Read the histories thumbed on the pages of the rooms
      Angles corners rubbed soft loved yellow

      The arthritic bones of the ceiling beams
      ache above me

      and like the leaves not swept from the courtyard
      Time accumulates and drifts slowly

      Later I shall stalk my ancestors
      Draw up close under their sun beaten wrinkles

      Watch this black ink fix to their heavy frowns
      Before I close up the house


      Resting Place

      The sun slants on
      a broken pot leaning out over the water
      The wet rails glint and the graves
      Rill with dirt

      ancestors crowded homes

      Touch these stones
      Feel over the braile of the dead
      The ghost of warmth in the ground

      Watch the moon making home
      A dog digging

      He mourns

      I will rest here, before the
      Thick earth builds on my boots,
      In my mouth


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