POETRY Come to Mother’s Day at the Mall Renewal collapses into itself. Potted trees bud gray leaves that stutter to the tile. Worldly treasures arrayed in malignant colors, fail to blot out the atrium sun. A prime location for giveaways by a temp girl in a modest dress. Gift bags for the busy, gift bags for the svelte, gift bags for the taking, take them, take them, take them. A fine dust of Mozart slips into the cracks of the sonic collage, whistling shoppers quicken their step, infants pitch their complaints ever higher. There is no escape. Banger boys and crushed-face girls idly cruise the late shift. Gift bags for the weary, gift bags for the lame, gift bags for the taking, take the whole damned lot of them. A single scrap of mauve gift-wrap crumpled under the table, Three bags jammed in the trash hidden under soda cups. Arrives the chic savior at closing, promising payment. Then released into the blessed comfort of a shadowy, headlight-scored path to home, home, humid magnolia breath of home. Kelly Sinclair Glen Iris Train Route 6, Melbourne The antique store on St. Kilda Street is called “Our Elysian Fields” The eye has a hundred thousand points for focus but today I select the Elysian field of vision The tram makes me a moving point of view my own blue-green iris an opal gathering lights I can taste paradise along High Street where orange and lemon trees bear in mid-winter The manager of the bedding shop at closing time is fluffing every fat cushion in his window A man carrying a little palm tree in its pot has the poise of a king with a scepter The tram passes a gate signposted INWARD GOODS ENTRANCE I think I’m stocking up Bert Almon Kelly Sinclair is a children’s librarian in Temple, Texas, with a background in journalism. She’s also a singer-songwriter who has performed frequently as a solo artist, as well as with progressive rock, industrial, and soul bands. Bert Almon is a Texas poet and critic living in Edmonton, Canada. He teaches English at the University of Alberta and describes himself as a “recovering ironist.” Naomi Shihab Nye. 5/9/03 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21
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