I cross the small that connects
our studies and ask to borrow
his book again. He thinks it strange
that I’ve taken an interest in soil:
definitions, explanations, formulas,
dirt, clay, and sand. Actually a single
phrase has attracted me, angle of repose---
a technical term;
how soil eventually settles.
Tonight for dinner we had lasagna
from the cafe down the street.
We split the serving. It tasted sweeter.
We had to remove the newspapers,
mail piled on the table to make a place
for our plates . I remember the meals
I used to prepare, ten or twelve people
around the table: Brunswick Stew, cornbread,
meat loaf and mashed potatoes, almond butter.
We are not unhappy. We enjoy our work
and find pleasure in the smallest events:
a song on the radio, a brief embrace
in the kitchen, the new comforter and sheets,
a mid-afternoon nap, at night
the weight of our bodies in bed.
first published in THE SUN and then in chapbook: DOUBLE SOLITUDE
What Are You Thinking?
The curve of my rounded bottom fits
the curve of your rounded belly.
Arms cross over my breasts. Hands
rest across your arms. I finger
the hair on one forearm. The hair on your chest
lightly sweeps my back when you stir. My eyes blink
Your chin rests on the crown of my head.
O the Comfort Inn, an island view,
the drapes wide open; the sun descending
below the sound; I keep looking over our shoulders
to the back wall, changing tones of pinks and reds,
our particular abiding. Not wanting
to move until we both are ready. The setting
takes fifteen to twenty minutes. We only discuss
color. We can’t hear the surf.
WE do not mention we are motherless.
first published in 5AM, also from DOUBLE SOLITUDE
Elaine Fletcher Chapman (formerly Elaine Walters McFerron) is the author of a volume of poems, Hunger for Salt published by Saint Julian Press and a letterpress chapbook, Double Solitude published by Green River Press. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor teaching Literature at Old Dominion University, Chapman worked on staff at The Bennington Writing Seminars, Bennington College for 18 years. She founded The Writer’s Studio where she teaches poetry, nonfiction and an ongoing class, On Keeping a Journal. She also provides editing services and organizes Poetry Readings and Crossing Over Writing Retreats. For the last 39 years she has worked as a therapist in private practice. Also she is a Certified iRest Yoga Nidra Meditation teacher. Her poems have been published in Rabid Oak, The Tishman Review, The EcoTheo Review, The Cortland Review, Connotation, The Sun, Calyx, Poet Lore, 5AM, Salamander, and others. She was guest blogger on The Best American Poetry Blog and The Solstice Literary Magazine blog. She now lives on the West side of the Chesapeake Bay near the James River in Newport News, Virginia. She also spends a great deal of time in the San Francisco Bay area. Trailer and Poetry Videos for Hunger For Salt: www.vimeo.com/elainefletcherchapman or www.elainefletcherchapman.com
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