Poems

Like this lake, the poems that follow reflect the heights of my personal experience, while they also suggest the depths that live below the surface. I present them in alphabetical order by title; they are not chronological because I don’t know their creation dates — in fact, they are, as representatives of my soul, timeless.

 

A Fine Soup

The flower I never gave you

For love

The one I lost on the way

To your door

 

Has resurfaced

Now, petals sprawled

Sunshine center perforated

With little holes open to the light

 

Certainly still presentable

I could give it to you now

But you’re out wandering,

Picking your own flowers

 

What a wayward soul you are

Tossing in your own sea,

A soup of mixed vegetables

With noodle alphabet

 

You spell out words

Like, “help,” and “rescue”

In pasta

As if you needed saving

 

I would save you

But your words lose their meaning

As I swallow

My taste buds are illiterate

 

So you’re left floundering

Amidst the vegetables and broth

And I was going to give you a flower

I can’t wait to give you a flower.

 

I’ve had my fill of soup

You lie breathless at the bottom

Of the bowl

Arms, legs sprawled

 

What a journey you’ve had

I thought you’d been out picking flowers

But you must have fallen

Into this soup

 

You must have been struck by lightning

Knocked off balance

Landed in my lunch

Perhaps you deserved it

 

At least I didn’t eat you

I lift the flower over the bowl

Where you lie

Your face beet red from the heat of the soup

 

I shake it

And let grains of pollen

Waft down

To your eyes

 

Then I pluck the petals

One by one

Let them fall

And cover you like a soft shroud

—Susan E. Briggs