Poetry is a lonely business, but I have a friend who plays guitar, and when I play bass with him, I find community. My most recent book is In This Place: Selected Poems 1982-2013 and I've had recent poems in Hummingbird, Atticus Review, Hamilton Stone Review, and other literary magazines. I'm honored to serve as managing editor of the Lorine Niedecker Monograph Series, What Region?. I blog as The Middlewesterner (www.middlewesterner.com), and have put up at least five little poems a week since mid-2008.
Where magic brings us back from dreams,
where the morning begins to open
and all the birds to sing,
where the sun lifts dew from the grasses,
where silence finds its meaning --
Take off your everyday face.
Put on the real one.
Woman with her Sister at the Clinic
Unloads the wheelchair
from the trunk of the car.
Inserts the supports
for someone's legs.
Moves it to the passenger door
and locks the wheels.
Her sister hands out
her purse, a bag, a jacket.
Stands so very slowly
before she pivots.
The woman with her sister
at the clinic
is not in any hurry.
Love is patient,
is kind, is understanding.
Helps her sister on
with her coat.
Unlocks the wheels
of the wheelchair.
Pushes her sister
at easy pace
towards the front door.
Never once a suggestion
time is wasting.
Sun shines on
the both of them,
then they roll
She is my sister,
the woman would say.
To Stanley Plumly from the Corner of Washington & West
Any street corner in your fair city,
Fifth & 94th will do. Here it is
Washington and West, where our house
sits. You've told us of that woman's grief,
and hers is universal. I tell of one
small bird, broken in the winter storm,
a particular bird in this place and,
some would say, not worth much notice.
Yet how can we not resent such blindness?
You know this dead bird doesn't need your
blessing. I know the woman's sorrow
doesn't need mine. We both feel the loss
on any corner, at the edge of winter,
at the edge of sky which reaches beyond
the thousand windows blurring above us,
far beyond the back of this forever.
©2016 Tom Montag