RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – Nov 29

Red Wheelbarrow Poets
Poem of the Week 11/29/2016

Arthur Russell

She Snores

On our bed lies the woman whose flesh
tackled me by the ankles.

I fell for years, slowly,
and lay, eyes open, unable to speak,
staring down the side street
that leads to the riverfront,
red rust blooming
on my white amalgam shins.

She snores, and I listen
like a mason at the stone yard
to the sound of her gravel sliding
off the truck, and I know by
its timbre if it’s pea
or quarter inch.

She grinds her teeth.
She curls in a pangolin ball
when I frighten her.

She plays the piano, though not for me.

We talk a lot while we watch tv.

Her people say “I love you”
instead of “goodbye.” Mine say “goodbye”
instead of “I love you.”

Fish, laid on ice, hug one another.
I wait outside her yurt, reading signs
in the blowing which-way snow.

She sleeps. I listen to her breathe.
It’s the time we get along best.

She extends my probation
year by year while she gathers
the evidence she evidently needs.

She used to talk to Julie, her childhood
German Shepherd, in her sleep.

I listened to the song in her voice
as she reasoned with the dog.

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