My fourth full-length collection of poems, Bird Flying through the Banquet, came out from FutureCycle Press in March, and I’m just delighted to have been able to work with editor Diane Kistner, who is, simply put, a peach. Retired from teaching in the Department of Creative Writing at the University of California, Riverside, I volunteer for a local literary arts nonprofit, help edit the online magazine, Poemeleon, and write poems, nonfiction and the occasional story. I have lived with my husband in Riverside since 1969 (in a now long-emptied nest), but my Wordsworthian place will always be the New York City of my childhood and teenage years. For more information, and a selection of my poems and prose, please see http://judykronenfeld.com.
It’s 3:30 on a gray afternoon
late in November.
Winter is homicidal in the air,
a knife-blade at my cheek.
At the apartment door I reach
for the key-string on my neck
and know at once it’s gone.
I frisk my school-books, my gym clothes,
my shoes, imagining luck
tricky as an acrobat’s timing.
My memory interrogates the day
like a white light in an empty
white room, but won’t surprise me
with the key, asleep
in a forgotten pocket. What I recall,
like pictures of the dead,
is the knot,
There is nothing to do
but sit in the dingy hall, lost
in revery over the key. It lay
like a talisman on my chest bone,
where I am hollow now. I would give
anything for its good weight.
There is nothing to do but think
of past joy. Cannily
it slipped into the lock,
and was made for the lock;
beautifully the tumblers turned,
the bolt obeyed.
Originally published in Riverside Quarterly 8, No. 3 July, 1990
© 2017 Judy Kronenfeld
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