Linda M. Fischer
While my three children were young, I wrote just enough poetry to give me an inkling that I might have an aptitude for it, but I wasn’t brave enough to throw my earning potential aside until my family was grown and I’d worked for a number of years. As time went on, I came to regret not having devoted myself to writing much earlier in life. The “now or never” decision came about 20 years ago—my late-in-life career—and the process of creating a poem still gives me enormous satisfaction. I’m gratified that my poetry is widely published in the small press and equally gratified by becoming part of a larger community of writers. For my publishing credits:
the roses persist,
Sheffield daisies brighten
one end of the garden.
A smattering of leaves
confetti the lawn—
too soon yet to rake.
Another cool night
and the coleus will droop;
time to bring in my pots.
Robins are loading up
on winterberry, virburnum.
I gather more kindling,
stack some extra wood.
Global warming aside,
I’ll take my cue from them!
Seeing Out the Year
Autumn lingers, unseasonably mild—
the foliage as ill-disposed to drop
as you to shed your cherished possessions
and have them scatter to the winds. Though death
has fingered you, I am left your proxy:
to parse the spoons, redistribute rooms
of furnishings with clear directives on what not
to abandon to indifferent care. Now,
shall I confess my sin?—selling the dresser,
reneging on a promise to fit it in—somewhere?
How you’d flinch to see your worldly goods
dispatched: expostulate with me, need aside,
on the uses to which they could be put—if
on my aching back, the weight of what took
you a lifetime to accumulate. Should there come
a day of reckoning, it will be at heaven’s gate!
--first published in Ibbetson Street
The Penultimate Season
The air feels heavy now,
and damp, as if a cloud’s slipped
its moorings and run aground.
I’m grateful it isn’t colder
yet. In the garden, plants
elect to rebloom carelessly,
gulled by a warm October—
the delicate forget-me-not,
a gaudy campion—even as
the oaks drop their leaves
and maples betray the month
by sporting bronze or crimson.
We dutifully perform the rituals
of autumn: switch doors,
reverse windows, stow
lawn chairs with the spiders
taking up residency in our domicile.
Vulnerable intimates, we wheel
and string our webs against a season
as harsh and unrelenting as winter.
--first published in Mad Poet’s Review
Selling the House
Restless fall days going through
closets and drawers—the kitchen alone:
dishes, cookware—months of weekends
to undo a home filled to excess,
the dross of nearly fifty-eight years;
a lifetime measured in casseroles and plate,
holiday service that brought families
together—of a generation all but gone—
leaving the good china undisturbed
and the linens in perpetual repose—books,
clothes enough for a third-world
village, decades-old sets of records
that can’t be even given away—
to be pulled apart, packed, parceled out—
as much to the children and grandchildren
as they will take, lest it go to strangers—
the best of what there is, of what has been,
to be shelved with musty albums and memories
as life shrinks into two small rooms.
--first published in my chapbook Raccoon Afternoons
© 2017 Linda M. Fischer
Editor's Note: If this poem(s) moves you please consider writing to the author (email address above) to tell him or her. You might say what it is about the poem that moves you. Writing to the author is the beginning of community at Verse Virtual. It is very important. -FF