5-20-2020

Laure-Anne Bosselar

 

THE NIGHT GARDEN

 

 

Because everything you learned from the stained

                        glass windows you knelt under

still remains thorned & stained & torn,

 

& all the teachings you were expected

                         to believe still leave you dis-

believing & you wish this were not so,

 

& because one sparrow’s chirp can pour

                        gratitude into you like a drought-

dazzling rain, & you’d much rather

 

kneel for that — & you do,

 

there’s something appeased in the way you

                        get up again & brush the dirt

from your knees — that modest

 

dirt that belongs to no one & is yours so entirely

 

in this small lot — hedged, hidden,

                   with its offerings of fruit

& shade & song. So that later,

 

when evening brumes embrace all

                   you just praised,

you slip back into the night garden

 

to be blessed that way too.

I FORGET TO LISTEN 

        

 

         to the silence after the rain —

 

or to that particular silence,     

 

                            like a

                   held

                             breath,      

 

when the wind 

 

leaves —

         or dies.

 

 

 

To the silence after a slammed door.

 

Or telephone’s last

 

unanswered

 

ring.

 

        

Oh, how I forget to listen to you —

 

to the silence in you, friend.  

 

I make such noise,

 

such noise,

 

         that I can’t hear the silence in you.

ON MY WALK TO THE HOSPITAL, DEATH

 

 

There it was,

                   mired in the mess of syringes

         & Styrofoam that the homeless left

under an old, hunchbacked oak.

                  

Death in the fog, all silver

                   & grisaille as it wreathes

& muffles children in the park.

 

I saw it

         in the needle, deep in the back

                   of his hand. My love’s.

                   Fentanyl dripping

                            no

                            pain

                            no

                            pain

                            no

         in his vein.

 

                                            Death in the still-life

         the ward’s window reflected:

                   an old woman bent over

her husband, her hand on his heart.

 

I saw it.  It faced us —

                            nonchalant —

              there, at the foot of the bed

whistling softly through its teeth.

-from These Many Rooms, Four Way Books (2019), selected by POW Spring Guest Editor, Luke Johnson

LAURE-ANNE BOSSELAAR is the author of The Hour Between Dog and Wolf , of Small Gods of Grief, which won the Isabella Gardner Prize for Poetry, and of A New Hunger selected as a Notable Book by the American Library Association.  With her husband Kurt Brown, she translated a book by Flemish poet, Herman de Coninck: The Plural of Happiness. The recipient of a Pushcart Prize, and the editor of four anthologies, she taught at Emerson College, Sarah Lawrence College, UCSB, and is a member of the core faculty at the Solstice Low Residency MFA in Creative Writing Program. Her fourth book, These Many Rooms, came out from Four Way Books in 2019.