Boston Public Garden, June 18, 2018

Halfway to the angel fountain along the line
of green benches, we sat almost every morning,
backs to Beacon Street, facing the pond, content
to talk and watch our children tricycle or dig.
We took for granted they were secure

in our care. Of course. The angel fountain
stands tall at the far corner of the Garden
flanked by two bronze dolphins that spout
over her pool, their sides burnished
by all the children who have ridden them.

Last week in the evening I stopped at the bench.
Blue sky over so much green, irrepressible
old trees. Leaf shadows trembled on the path.
Across a spread of grass, the duckling statues now,
heads shiny where so many little ones have sat.

And still, fathers, mothers, babies in their packs,
or pushing strollers, catching small runaways.
Easy together. On the pond, ducks call each other.
Swan Boats paddle slowly, round the island to pass
under the bridge, return to their landing place.

The Garden, oasis still from war, assassination, cruelty.
Today, the path to the angel fountain stretches far from here.

Ailsa Kennedy Steinert

Stirring, Linoleum

From Worm Moon, American Moons, recently published and available on Amazon

Stirring

The moon sets wide on water –
I am claimed by flint
close at hand, the scent
of matted oak leaves.
Roots and reeds, always
the same slow ache of waking.

Loosed from aspen, spokes
of ice pierce the grained snow.
Grey hour breaks and shadows
blanch. Day patterns the sky –
a spendthrift wind unsettles.

Crow knows, heavy
on the topmost branch,
his call cleans the whole sky.

Linoleum

Mid-morning loneliness
stirs in the walls. I wipe a milk
spill from the table. Gulls circle
above the chimney ventilators.

My husband, my friends’husbands,
have walked to work. I listen
to the radio gossiping. Over linoleum
squares, the children drive

their trucks to market. I face
the fire escape’s wrought iron march
down bricks across the way. Napkins
toss in the dryer, wind blown clouds.

I have let go of my job, the fashion
desk, my typewriter stored safe
on ordered shelves with Mother’s silver
to be set out if occasion calls.