Poems by Katie Kinkel ’14

 

Social Worker

You drive slowly in this rectangular
village, as one drives

in a graveyard.
Day fading, the plastic

grasses, whorled pinwheel
colors congeal

you wonder
where your client might live.

Suddenly a mother
springs from her trailer,

grasping her wandering
son.

It is late afternoon, and dark-
the liminal space

in which night turns
predacious. Pairs

of eyes thrill
in the forest below.

She watches you,
unyielding,

gaze
cutting

through
dusk.

 

When Spring Came Early

There are days
you do not measure

in seasons.
Hesitant

crocuses,
salt on trees;

unfurling green
along grey branches.

Desire begins,
inexorably as seeds

of pomegranate. Heat, sky
blurred hours

fields you run through
only to fall.

How soon,
you will think,

(standing
among your lover’s

dead), frost
makes

her mocking
reprise.

Press two coins
on your black eyelids

along that dark
and cold river

and sing only
for months

of
grain.

 

Still Life With Barn

Spring barn

four clock faces, unmoving

weathervane seesaws

—little golden arrow

against blue, like a Roman fresco—

one wall

illuminated

by my dying

afternoon.

Power lines hum their carcinogens.

Edward Hopper would

have painted it,

made love

to that brightness,

dark barn door open,

a lover’s mouth.

Would he also have known

the selfishly perceived unrightness

of unstill images—

cars, their wave sounds,

unexpected chill, the body losing,

by these laws, its radiances?

We hate their jumbled shapes,

these lines.