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Sample Poems by Alice Kociemba


Autumnal Equinox

One night the empty glider
rocks, fretting. 
Next day—a sweater.

When does dimmer light
turn green to khaki
and cooler air court
yellowing of leaves?

The sun dips
earlier and earlier
into Buzzards Bay.

Evening ribbons
streaked pure pink,
deepening to purple.

Night erases its own canvas.



Shadow Darner


Early September, on the hem of evening,
in light that sparkles before it dims,

I sit on the blue glider,
absorbing the language of light, studying its silence.

Then a dragonfly lands next to my hand
and for an hour keeps me company.

O! You—with your ebony head,
red cowl-neck and slender body.
 
Each of your silver mesh wings
has an identical dab of rouge.

In a sudden shift of air, you disappear.
Across the bog, a few leaves fire off a flare.



Labor Day

Smell of endings
decay of day
evaporated time of summer.

Should we count
our lives, not in years
but summers

or count the Scrabble score
with made-up words—
piggygate and wuzies?

A yellow shovel carried off
by late day surf,
the sandcastle leveled.

Tide of taillights ebbing
as last cars cross over
the Bourne Bridge.


Harbinger
     (after James Wright)

All the windows are up.
In flies a catbird’s scratchy call
and crisp apple air.
Late August light is chiffon and shimmer— 
its nights, a fine chilled wine.
Savor the last sip.  Shut the poet’s book,
The Branch Will Not Break.
But the leaves are starting to fall.
The rooster will still crow at dawn.
A jet plane’s white plume is dissipating
high above the marsh. 
Most of my life has flown by.