November 2010

Janet Black


Janet Black
Janet Lindquist Black has published short stories in Kenyon Review, The Literary Review, Wind, Northwest Review, Persea and others and twice received honorable mention in The Best American Short Stories. She has just begun publishing her poetry, written over many years. She prizes time spent in the city and deep country, particularly the Catskill Mountains of New York.

Saturday This Year    

Today's first crack of sunshot
was the woodcock firing off
into soft morning.
You only get the wing sound,
you don't see them.
Silence thunders back.
Even telling about it
sounds like making it up.

That burgundy comforter, still vivid, striped in vines,
lies there on the bed like tomorrow never
snuck timeprints down mountains to the sea.
A whole stretch of long ago has wrapped around the planet since
that cover harbored young bodies
in early light.

Out in the middle of our same old lake
and empty sits the wrought-iron deck chair
bleached and basking
with its crabby drained-of-color settee alongside
that would grind in rust song
if it could rock the way it used to.

There is a dock under there
stretched out beneath the white-crust spread.
The lake, in early spring patches, melts through
to seize its steady old soul-mate, the sky.
The water cupped by land becomes firmament.
Then sky runs in the meadow
clouds and stars laughing up.

The chair and her settee have been cranked
and heaped through many winters
but they never did stop matching.
They'd hold hands if they could.

Here is then.
The trees, the woodcock, the lake,
the wine-blood comfort of a still never-shaped blanket.



Janet Black: Poetry
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