Reuben Torrey received his BA in Literature from the Thomas More College
of Liberal Arts, Merrimack, New Hampshire (USA).
Verses From A Cul-de-sac
From the center of the cul-de-sac,
A flagpole points a shadow-hand
In the sunrise. The houses stand
Like numbered hours of a clock.
And now a kitchen light clicks on.
And now a door opens for the cat.
And now the sprinklers activate.
And now showers upon a lawn.
The school bus swings around the circuit
Now to gather up the children.
Later they will be returned, when
They are older and more learned.
And as the day goes on,
Sunlight refracts through tilted windows;
And all the edges of all the shadows
Angle and expand becoming one.
The hung December fog
Seems warm around the trees,
And makes the naked branches fade,
Each unto a shade of its own
In the layered gray of stone
Upon the wall, the frieze displayed.
This artistry displayed—
Its sculptor loved a stone,
And made a loveliness of a bog,
And would tell us now how history is
Held fast within its trees
Behind the warm and chiseled fog.
after Don Thompson
I take for granted that, if the land had a voice,
I wouldn't hear it here in town:
overbearing roads, slabs of sidewalk
drowning out the gentle cadence of the ground.
Maybe if I concentrate, carefully enough,
through the drone of brick,
I might detect a brogue, those fading tones
of old and far-off hills.
But winter reminds me—the heaving ground,
the sidewalk here and there displaced by frost,
gaping potholes appearing in the road
like ready opened mouths.
Three years old in a narrow cabin room,
Beneath patches of worn quilt I lie back
In yield of twilight's soft imperative.
My mother leans by the bedside window
And view of daylight stillness on the lake;
And what I know of the work of everyday
Is gone, as a bird cries broken octaves—
Long, sad, not one from home I recognize.
"Loons," my mother says, who doubtless watches by
Until my eyes fall slowly timely shut.
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