Joseph Millar

Joseph Millar
Joseph Millar's two collections are Overtime and Fortune, both from EWU Press. A third collection, Blue Rust, is due out this fall from Carnegie-Mellon. He teaches in Pacific University's low residency M.F.A. program and lives in Raleigh, NC.

The Women Of Poetry

—for DL and NH

I never wanted a red sports car
or a green Mercedes convertible,
I love my anonymous Buick sedan
which nobody looks at a second time
except when I ferry the women of poetry
down Route Six to the clam shack.

I watch them stroll together
through the old seaside cemetery,
one of them wearing a dead woman's ring,
a cloudy sapphire with a visible flaw,
her ice cream cone leaking
onto the ground where she's paused
to admire a tombstone:
someone's mother has passed away
in the eighty-third year of her age,
someone's beloved husband was lost
to the stormy gray Atlantic—
the same ocean they have floated in,
its bottom matted with grass and hay
whose loose strands clung
to their shoulders and breasts,
the straps of their bathing suits.

They will relax on the veranda
with their black tea
and white cotton robes,
their sailboat hips and unruly hair,
the neighborhood silent
at the edge of the land,
its heirloom tomatoes and horse manure
fragrant under the windows.

They don't need much money
when they go to town,
they like to ride
with the windows down
looking out at the water
and the salt-box houses
and listening to Sarah Vaughn.