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Sample Poems by Richard Waring


Recital 


He is pure 
amid a frenzy 
of strings and
bows, the dark 
wood of his song 
hard as stone. Once 
he played with emptiness. 
Now he moves the wind 
to summon amazement. 
Sounding a clarion A, he holds 
to every note, its height, its depth, 
bar by bar, his bridge, his will, his way out. 


When I Loved Her


Food was just a prop
we pushed around 
like giants herding sheep. 

We fed on the self
and self-admiring. 

I believed in permanence, 
sunstruck rocks 
that never grow cold. 

Each kiss bordered
on belief. 

Now I feast on the best cuts, 
medallions and chops 
from the slaughterhouse lamb. 


Winter 


Leaves 
form the pages 
of winter’s diary. 

The crook 
of a maple 
reveals a bruise 

of yellow 
feathers, the wing 
of a moth. 


Year Apart


I stop shaving, begin 
no new hobbies. 
Have to get a room 
with a friend, everything 
awkward again. It’s 
The Year of Not Doing 
Anything Stupid. 

I take his books on divorce 
off the shelf and read them. 
He hasn’t, so I fill him in. 
We drink wine at lunch 
and listen to what 
Miles Davis has to say. 

Summer becomes fall. 
He mows barefoot. I don’t. 
He goes another season not taking 
the Parents Without Partners class. 
I do and learn that people aren’t 
there to make you happy, 
they’re there to make you grow. 

I grow. 


Between


My son gets out of the family 
car, enters the realm between 
my care and his mother’s. Suffering 
is the fastest mode of transportation. 

He treads the thin walkway 
that balances what’s tried and true 
with what is not yet found, every crack 
a precarious place to stand. 

When will I see him again? I worry 
the distance, knowing each step offers 
fresh reason for hope or delay. 

We sleep in separate homes, 
close enough to count the same 
sheep, our lunate bodies turning 
different ways in the nameless hour.