I was lost in a dark hallway
and met a man made of blue light
and orbiting electrons.
He walked slowly toward me
dragging his feet in leaden boots.
I thought I knew his name:
Chernobyl, Hiroshima or Three Mile Island.
"Did you escape from the power plant?" I asked.
The answer came in a deep resonating hum,
"It's a work-release program."
He reached out but I recoiled from the blue hand
afraid of its burning touch.
He pulled on a lead glove and said,
"Come, I can save your life."
And I went with him through an unmarked door.
-- Marian Pressler
Getting a Grip
It will happen on the day I look down
at blue and magenta leaves
which are probably auto air fresheners
thrown onto the roadside, or the day
I take the long slide on a slice
of lime tossed among the kayaks
racked like so many spiritual
ventures. High summer, vacationers
in their vacation-red rental convertible,
the whole town become an ego
theme park, and I'll want to follow
the fox's elegant footprints out across
the dunes, right up to the den's
sandy apron under the pine duff,
and beg admission. But the foxprints
will be gone, and the fox,
knowing enough to hole up
and wait out this all too-human
season, and I'll fill a pocket
with sunflower seeds and take
myself into the beechwoods
that defend a pond of water lilies
lit like white candles and scenting
the heat with licorice. On the path
I'll hold out both palms like
a garden statue, thinking Brother
Chickadee, Sister Chickadee, but
sounding like pish, pish, pish
until one from nowhere clamps
a finger, taking its time, hunting
judiciously for just the right seed,
passing its grip down to my hand,
a strength, a way of holding on.
-- Brendan Galvin