a poetry e-zine

 

 

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

Poems By Taylor Graham

 

HARMONICA

On the corner of this alley
his lament rises
as if to welcome the darkening
of contours, the moving shadows
under streetlights.
Silver clouds
of vehicle exhaust swirl
in chill air, make ghosts
of the homeless in their tatters
pushing rackety
shopping carts, echoes
of some politician’s fixes
on the evening news.
Barking dogs.
Two late shoppers hurry past
in their unspoken snobbery
of goodwill to all.

As evening falls, his tune
wanders into its
still center.


EVENING

You will travel into a land of darkness.
- fortune cookie

Under clouds gray as grandfather woolens
I drive the winding hill road, down
past buckeye hung with its dull globes,
its leaves long gone. Strokes
of magenta among pewter strands
of nameless chaparral. Green-black
cedar, tarnished gold of oak leaves
falling – a landscape changing by moments
the deeper we go – under daylight
failing, into mist rising off the river
out of sight, and wood-smoke twisting
from a chimney as if someone
lived here – my cold hands, cold
fingers beg for that fire, a home
in a darkening land.


SISTER

Imagine her
staring out the front
window. November

oak leaves
glow like honey
through her hands

translucent, clutching
thin air. Words,
she catches at

words she remembers
without meaning.
Names of classmates

some dead without
faces. Husband brother
son. Names burn

next week or the next,
piles of smoke,
leaves. Her own

name burns her lips,
how he used to
call her Honey, but

she’s forgotten
the sounds to make for
hands window leaf.
 

Taylor Graham is a volunteer search-and-rescue dog handler in the Sierra Nevada, who also helps her husband (a retired wildlife biologist) with his field projects. Her poems have appeared in The Iowa Review, The New York Quarterly, Poetry International, and elsewhere, and is included in the anthology California Poetry: From the Gold Rush to the Present (Santa Clara University, 2004).

 

 

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