Today's poem is by Leonard Kress

After Horace
        for Stephen Sandy

Look to the El track's dazzling glaze, snow
caked on the trestle bridge, icicles
that pierce the windows of the unjumped cars,
the day decked-out to skid things to a halt.

Let's defrost ourselves and dial up
the thermostat, lean our backs against
the radiator, sip the amber Scotch
that settles round the neck like hands or jewels.

Who cares when snows will cease this unkempt flurry,
they'll move when some wind scuds them on their way,
there is no sacred bough for storm to split,
no neighbor with an ax to keep him warm.

The future's just an unrigged lottery,
anyone can win—but what great odds!
One day must be as good as any other,
and love will come, some day, I guess, will come.

No one mistakes us for the next door geezer,
not even kids camped out on the corner.
Can't you feel their warming sighs, their breath
hanging frozen crystals in the air?

Observe how rituals create themselves,
how mocking words lead to sweet ambush,
how quick he slips the glove from her small hand,
and how her fingers curl in half-protest.

Copyright © 2003 Leonard Kress All rights reserved
from Sappho's Apples
HarrowGate Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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