Enter Home Planet News Poetry of Issue #6                        Page 51
                                   
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Departure

Nine decades she worked the moment
chore-to-chore, pinning each day in line
the way she hung wash all those years
from her kitchen clothesline –
taught and straight as prayer flags
in the wind. But now, sight dim
mind loose, she circles back around
her early days –
a pony ride in Prospect Park
a graduation ceremony
and when I try to enter in
her world, she says goodbye –
goodbye backache, goodbye old age.

Each clean shirt and towel
a Sunday-school psalm sung
last notes wavering in the breeze
but finally the line is empty.
Goodbye china-doll, goodbye first boyfriend
birthday parties, trolly rides, and spelling bees.
Goodbye blue sky
goodbye my darlings, goodbye.

  David Elsasser __
Big Mama

Lacking both abiding faith
that somewhere seraphim glide
through sacred arches, as well
as fast assuredness nothing
mightier than dizzy mortals
and indifferent physics
guide the universe’s glide
I picture God as Big Mama –
endlessly giving but buzzed out
by infinite demand.
Old Mother Hubbard
with an 7-billion-brat shoe.
You just can’t expect Her
to see you safely across streets
or wipe your nose.

And maybe there’s nothing –
just inter-stellar vacuum
between barren galaxies. Void
separating sub-atomic particles.
And maybe I’m just talking to myself
But Hey Big Mama
if you find the time
please help us treat each other
better than we’ve lately seen
to give us faith there’s Goodness
hiding somewhere
back behind the screen.

  David Elsasser __
Mum

No one told the violet mums that Summer’s gone
and I won’t be the one to spoil the fun.
Rose, forsythia, iris, lily early debutants
all have shed their heels and party dresses
shut the blinds and gone to winter slumber
till the light regains the slant and sizzle
to lift their pretty lids. but still
the mums raise cocktail glasses high
and flirt with passers-by as if their girlish glee
could melt the ice on through to spring.
Now the gardener arrives with hoe
and stormy countenance to decree
Fall’s timely hegemony
to plow this fashion season under with the rest
and leave a brilliant gown across the ground
in somber quietude to meet the snow.
I plead the case for sparing giggly mums
for letting youthful beauty run its course
so they can radiate beneath the craggy moon
and tug his frown into a smile.
I’ll go each night in eager stealth
and scrape the snow off of their cheeks
to let them ruffle purple skirts
and kick their spirits high
to put a sparkle in an old man’s eye.


  David Elsasser __
A wobbly top


she hula-hoops on an overturned bucket
mid subway-station platform
zinging wild arpeggios from her violin.
Steadfast in syncopation
she swirls and whirls –
a goddess gyroscope
pulsing subterranean rhythm.
And not the leers or cheers of passers by
nor express train’s roar
alters the orbit of her spin, but
only when I try to snap her picture
she whips around
shoots me that Medusa look –
my smart phone shakes
and I am salt.


  David Elsasser __