© 2018 THE LONG ISLAND LITERARY JOURNAL

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