© 2018 THE LONG ISLAND LITERARY JOURNAL

Three Poems by Linda Allocco

Picture Window

The antique, timeworn grandfather clock rests against the wall,

sound of chimes reverberate,
Mornings crawl in,
Long days pass by, the house on the hill.

Lying in bed, as birds perch for nighttime slumber,
Staring at the picture window, I see, not the living world

outside, but reflection of my quiet room, in the house on the

hill.

Through the pane of glass,
Filtered, blurred images glare back at me,
A bronze lamp, with golden glow, wrapped like a halo over

some long forgotten saint.

Cornflower walls color the background,
Mimicking miles of cloudless sky,
Bedpost, on guard, stands at ridged attention.

Memories, neatly framed,
Slip from my mind, in front of my wanting face,
Evening’s silent movie begins to play.

Recognizable shapes begin their dance,
Gracefully drifting around the still room,
Scrutiny reveals nervous smiles, fingers intertwined.

Climbing into outstretched arms,
Arc of their moral universe bends,
Long, curved, unbounded.

Familiar faint scent permeates the air,
With soft blue eyed memories splayed out in front of me,
Calmness spreads overhead, faintly falling to the ground, like

late autumn rain.

But as morning’s sun starts its faithful climb,
The outside world inches into view,
Reflections of my life begin to fade.

Head pressed upon a satin pillow,
Pulling up the soft, frayed comforter, an imperishable friend,
Tightly closing my eyes, I slowly drift off.

Dreaming the day away, as mockingbirds call,
Anxiously waiting for night’s theater to emerge,
To usher me back into the shadow box of my life, in the picture window,

in the house on the hill. 

 

The Train

The train sways back and forth,
Ricocheting like those bumper cars I rode as a little

girl on hot summer nights at the town fair with my

brother.

Stale air, brakes squeal,
Fluorescent lights flicker overhead,
A chaotic laser show, lacking the anticipated

explosion of color and carefully choreographed

music.

Power cuts, darkness floods over the dried, cracked,

sea foam seats,
One two three,
The blinding light returns.

Speeding past platforms, towns, anonymous lives,
Straining to see, clarity,
But unrecognizable through the yellowed, streaked,

stained, plexiglass.

Fruitless and futile, I look away,
Tightly closing my eyes, bursts of white, yellow,

scarlet red fill my field of

vision.

Bump, grind, skid,
Limbs jerk,
Images, familiar sounds, long forgotten, pry loose.

A silver bell, colorful streamers, a banana seat,
Pomp and circumstance,
I do, it's a boy, and another, equitable distribution.

A muffled announcement breaks through the trance,
Scrambling to my feet,
Collecting my belongings and thoughts.

Doors open, a blast of cold air hits my face,
Stepping over the gap, placing an empty coffee cup

in the waiting receptacle,
Slowly walking towards my pedestrian life.

 

 

Lone Bird

The lone bird soars between the puffs of polka dot clouds,
Feathers spread, tilting side to side,
Eagle eyes piercing down, searching the ground cover below.

Spotted, a thick stone,
Protruding from the barren field,
Reaching upward, revealing aged silver speckles on its blank face.

One maple tree, burnt cherry leaves, stands guard,
Twirling leaves, fall gently next to the faceless stone,
As the wind whistles softly.

The bird circles, a slow descent,
Talons outstretched,
Body stiffens, bracing for impact.

Landing on the tallest branch, swaying back and forth,
Holding tight, wings unfold,
Balancing the bird.

Skies quiet,
Stillness slowly spreads,
Like mayfly swarm in spring.

The bird, gazing at the solitary stone,
Bowed head, low sounds slowly erupting from its throat,
A call, beckoning.

No response.

Wind begins to churn, limbs begin to sway,
Wings instinctively flap,
The bird lifts into the waiting sky.

Pushed by the strengthening gusts,
The bird rises higher,
Eyes still affixed to the stone.

No movement.

Higher the bird soars, the stone shrinks, out of sight,
A sleek black feather flutters down,
Carefully coming to rest at the foot of the stone, a remembrance.