Two Poems by Jim Smith

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Eating the Sun

At the Alburgh VT eclipse festival, children sit at a picnic table drawing the sun with black crayons. A dragonfly brushes my cheek. It’s time I checked the astronomical charts. At breakfast a man curses hell. My grandfather’s dying, he promised to wait. It’s a ten-hour drive. A friendly snake circles my ankle. Sorry, I’m only passing through. Even the air smells like maple syrup. On the playground the kids swing so high they might hit their heads on the moon. Grandfather feels a chill, needs a coat. The darkness crawling once again as in those pesky nightmares. Unfazed by fireworks, the dragon snaps. I take one last look around. In Vermont, the children stay up late playing hide and seek in the dark.

This Page Intentionally Blank

Flip the switch that disconnects the machinery of your senses till the mind goes blank and the lake appears under summer skies while you glide your canoe celebrating the silence with no sea shanty sailors or talkative guides then you find a mirror cove the clouds seem to drift underneath as the slish of swirling water curlicues off your paddle like the curl of a girl underwater floating in flowing medieval gown with a blank stare singing how should I your true love know now you want to embrace her stay in the scene till you see a specter approaching nearer neither submarine nor welcome party for he is the keeper of possibility whose thwack of his tail sends you retreating to town where you search for revelations on a blank wall.

After moving to Silver Spring in 1993 for a position in the US Government, Jim Smith became involved in the DC poetry scene – taking classes, attending readings, and even performing now and then. Now retired, he is trying to get his first collection published.

Image: GearedBull, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

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