Five Poems | Peter Waldor
Peter Waldor lives in New Jersey where he works in the insurance business. His poems are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Iowa Review, West Branch, Sugar Mule and Margie.
A split sea, a hawthorn hedge, an elevator, an honor guard, a dusky hallway and the man is before the glass shelves and the jar, the jar, either the trade of Crete or Jamaica, for all great jars come from islands, for a jar is an island. It is enough to touch the secret, forefinger and third against the wall. Inside, a thimble of cream, enough for a life, for a daughter to try, but here I digress for the man has removed his fingers and he has no theory. No one knows of his journey, not even the woman will know her jar moved an inch among the others, the brushes, the pastes.
The trees are honest now. I hope for fog, cloud with broken strings. Too cold. A policeman waits on a stoop cracking pistachios before he storms a house. Thin jacket unzipped. The suspect still asleep.
I had sweetness but not enough sweetness. With poor Chester, for example. True I wept for the stricken mumbler, a lonely man, who had one sweater, a V neck with maroon border. True I sat with him a moment, but if I had enough sweetness, I would not adore exhaustion, I would not dream of the dead I knew whose only trace is in my imagination, my imagination, that chalk on rock. If I had enough sweetness, with Chester, I would never mention him.
High in the ruins, reaching for my hand, my love fell backwards. There was only grass where paving stones once would have broken her. I led her slowly down to port where everyone was gone, just an octopus left strung on a pole. At the end of the day one unclaimed monster for our pleasure.
Half-way up the window which is half-way to heaven there is a pint of milk balanced on the cool pane. The drinker takes an afternoon to sip the carton. If slats, frame, and glass are forgotten there is just a floating carton. The hillside beyond has not blossomed. The milk has not blossomed. The drinker, no blossom.