In Remembrance of Spectator Pumps

Lisa Cihlar

All my friends are poets.
When snow is up to my ankles,
Lauren sends me oranges from her tree.
She writes of dog kisses and Thelonious Monk.
Miriam is 85. Gives me books
of poems in case she dies in her sleep.
She told me that if things were different 
she would have been a lesbian,
not married with four daughters,
one of whom lives with a woman/lover.
The words. The voices. In my head.
I must name things to make them live.
My father made me a turkey call,
constructed from pine and maple.
He never showed me how it worked.
Now that hes dead I have many
questions without answers.
The turkeys stay away though they are hungry
for the dry corn I scatter.
It is a surprise. 
Wind-chimes play in light breezes
and storms. One kept in the house
is silent unless I touch it, become
the wind. 
There is poetry in rising
at 4 a.m. The light
spills pink in the east, a lone 
goose honks across fields
looking for the molten river,

morning murmurs welcome.


I buy flat, wide shoes 
to fit my fat feet and am 
ashamed at the betrayal 
of my body.
The truth is slippery. 
Write it down, release it into 
the wind from the south,
warm and portending the end
of brown, the start of green,
the blossom of wild cherries,
living paintings from Chinese masters,
burned onto my retina in case
I go blind. 



Lisa Cihlar lives in Wisconsin. Her poems have been published in Wicked Alice, Word Riot, Best Poem, Qarrtsiluni, Flutter Poetry Journal and other places. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2008.