Two poems by S. Thomas Summers

This Poem

Most likely, you’re drawn to this poem because it sits
neatly on a page: two shoes napping in a shoebox, a pair
of bricks content to know only each other. It’s not like
a captured toad deep in a coffee can’s hollow – a face
as calm as wood, anticipating an opportune moment: maybe
when the child scrunches his eyes to sneeze or turns to call
daddy – Look what I got. This poem would never leap from lidless

cans, cause cats to hiss. Nor would it seek sanctuary in dusty bogs
of darkness choking the void between carpet and sofa, secrete fetid
viscosities, elicit warts.  It’s yours to tuck in a shirt pocket, a recipe
box. Perhaps you’ll fill it with tea, dip it in dainty cups. But, if you
value my advice, roll it with tobacco, puff it slowly after dinner – watch
its smoke rise into the room, curl around curtain rods, sway with chilly
drafts that each evening seep through these old windows.

Pockets With Nothing

The cow that turns her head
from earth each time you
walk here, listens to breath

rattle through your ribs
like wind through a shutter,
but you still haven’t stopped

to bow with her in prayer.
Her meditations speak of a fox’s
flare weaving through tall

grass, a beehive’s heft and purr,
a mouse’s whispered confessions,
an old man sitting on a rock

within the pasture’s soul, content
to let wind untie his shoes,
fill his pockets with nothing.

About the author

S. Thomas Summers is a teacher of literature and writing at Wayne Hills High School in Wayne, NJ and an English professor at Passaic…

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Issue 03 · February 2009

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