Four Poems by Greta Ehrig







Even the Evening Grosbeaks yearn to move on,
wandering from there to here to somewhere gone,

partying at the feeder for a quarter of an hour
then parting ways like a young bride’s flowers

thrown overhead and into the crowd,
flown away in a gold and gray cloud.

I tried to stay them, tried in my way to say:
I was falling in love with their dancing blaze.

But they could not see me, could not hear,
didn’t seem to know I was even there

beside the curtain, behind the glass
dusted with snow, as the Winter’s grass.

Songbirds without a song, they call them
though their noise among the red Osier stems

is like your voice — sweetest sound to my ear —
and one I am always, (always), longing to hear.

The Eye of the Sea
after a photo on Facebook

The eye of the sea is a blue moon snail
peeking out of the surf.
You may debate whether it really exists,
if in Nature it even occurs.

But I have seen its curves with my very own eyes,
and I have touched its watery lid.
And if you asked God to bring you one,
I bet she would say, I did!

To An Old Friend With Whom I’ve Been Fighting

We speak of the war, you and I,
how both sides are to blame,
how somehow, someway, they
must stop the bombs and flames.

And yet, here we are, us two,
still tender as our bruises,
in a frail unspoken pact
where everybody loses:

We meet, we stand, we scan
the dwindling grocery shelves
and point at a world of others
rather than ourselves.

Stick Figures
For Teadora

It all starts somewhere —
with a word, a bang, a door
slammed shut as another door
opens — at work, at home, at play.

Wayne Thiebaud died this way —
at Wintertide, at the brumal age
of one-hundred-one — leaving
a legacy of color pops, lines, and

spaces for other people to fill.
Sweeping along the streets,
whom should his spirit meet but your
Snow Family, chalked out in

dusty white wheels like sugar cookies
with bright candy eyes: The Mama,
a buxom beauty in a pink floral hat;
her snow-babies like birds with

wide carrot beaks, beautiful sticks
for limbs. Nearby, intricate snowflakes,
a cup of cocoa, and bluebirds
commingle with a river of stones

pastel-rubbed the same bluet sky.
Because why not? Because
of course. Because Thiebaud
didn’t make one-hundred-two,

but rather, set a place for you.

Greta Ehrig earned an MFA in Creative Writing from American University, where she served as Editor of Folio literary journal and was a Lannan Fellow. Her writing has been published in numerous journals and anthologies, including: Beltway Quarterly; Southern Poetry Review; Allegro; Riding Light Review; Delos; Blessed Bi Spirit: Bisexual People of Faith; and Louisiana Literature, where she was named a semi-finalist in their international poetry contest. Her short plays have received staged readings at College Park Arts Exchange and Theater J in DC. Her songwriting has been recognized by the Bernard-Ebb and Mid-Atlantic Song Contests. And she has performed on stages from the Baltimore Book Festival to the Boulder Museum of Art. In addition, Greta’s writing has received support from Montgomery College’s “Arts in Healthcare” program; the Arts & Humanities Council of Montgomery County, MD; the Maryland State Arts Council; and the National League of American Pen Women. She teaches creative writing and piano in Takoma Park, MD.

Image: Per from Kaministiquia, Canada, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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