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Sample Poems by Judith Brice

Green Bananas

Don't buy them, not yet
not when you smell the brine
and limbo lapping the shore,
the cold waves flapping,
reminding you
of your past, those sins
haunting at the door.

Don't buy them,
slip out, turn, then go-
beyond the path, down the road-
look straight and, forever;
don't, for a second, glance back.

Just listen.
Watch the line of rocks,
the frozen zone of past.
Then look for clovers- four-leafed-
among the dandelions, their weeds,
the seeds that puff and float
into mellowed dreams of lazing sky.

There, just there, after you
see one lone deer-
its antlers scooping branches
as it grazes a velvet field of grass-
take the hard turn, at the fence
and you will be on your way.

your days, your fruit
will quickly ripen gold.

Alaska Air

Fly me over your ice
my sight
in midnight light.

Yes, I say, Air-
Iditerod my mind
go on- you'll
make it fly.

And take my pain
(Would you please!)
to an ice floe
drop it-unseen
ever out of touch

Oh, transport me to
that tundra
beyond your firs
so molten green.

take me, bake me; oh, take me
we'll fly together
forever, bask in sun!

Mother's Day Present

To my son, Ariel

Just like today, it was Mother's Day,
and at eight, you bought me a gift,
together with your dad, no doubt
an accomplice in the crime. Not a mystery
who thought it up-this idea
to get your mom to swing the bat,
or scoop up the ball and join the family team.

The only problem-
I didn't want a baseball mitt.
Not for me to repeat those months
of Fifth Grade sports-my sullen days
of trying to join that athletic class, swing
a bat, and slice the air, only to miss the round
and whitened orb- that boring ball!

And yet, in all those days,
all these 40 years of Mother's Days,
with that brown and burnished
glove and its mighty catch-
this three-way bunch of hits
and runs, even a few errors-
the love of our family team

lofted a homerun beyond expected blessing,
the very best gift, besides your birth!

Ars Poetica: An Invitation

Grab your pen.

Check the hemlock branch
beyond the window ledge,
the squirrels chasing shades-
chasing seconds
after weeks of rain-

as they scamper through
the birch, its leaves,
laced close beside the fence.

Watch- you'll catch the gentle

weave of light,
rays bending smooth,
to refract through
bark and branch, the needles,
their harlequin neighbor fronds.

Then, after scud of storm
has blown, has blustered by-
its rainbow, its dew drops

will be yours
to rescue in your eyes,
savor safe in your sight,

as you sit beside me,
settle your mind, and lift
your halting wrist,
your timid pen,
to write.