Two Poems by Carol Deering
Arc of The Blue
Your eyes the steady blue in a flickering flame.
Blue lightning on the backs of your hands.
I fumble back to that flare, the night
you stood up to Dad while sitting down.
His angry pretense tectonic, hand
beneath his plate, spaghetti sliding off,
slung back as a threat to whatever you said,
shattering supper for all.
Shaking inside, I carried that night,
a dark prehistoric cave, down the hill
to a lighted hall. Girl Scouts, badges,
an hour of shelter. Continents
slid on their plates. The fire of cancer
hollowed you out. You the arc of the blue
closest to the fuel.
At the end you could eat only ice.
ASSAULT AT MAI-ATAL
“I laughed when you mentioned me
on this planet, light-years away…”
All we know, night to day,
is all the news we get,
the sunshine, rainfall
a sprig of discontent,
not what’s gathering
just around the bend.
A switchback curve
on a culvert bridge
halfway from a mountain tower
to a strategic sea. Another
sergeant drove that route
every other day.
The courier from Kagnew
was late for the mail exchange.
And you were found, unarmed,
where Russian cartridge cases lay,
bullets from both sides of the road.
A hole in your windshield
and in your windpipe.
The radio crackling,
a package torn open,
a life and a laugh ripped out of time.
In memory of Ric Echeandia (1946-1971), from Brooklyn, NY