Monday, August 15, 2011


When I post a poem on my blog it doesn't "feel" published but, according to most editors it has been published and is, therefore, not acceptable for publication in their journal. If I worked in an office and posted it on the bulletin board, would that count as published? Oh well—

Of course all editors, quite properly, ask that any item reprinted from their publication be credited so I should I should admit I neglected to indicate, in my last post, that the poem, Sisters, appeared in The Puckerbrush Review (Fall, 2010) but with the name Delano, misprinted.

Today I want to add one more Aunt Anne poem. This one appeared some years ago in The Beloit Poetry Journal. The local pictured is the farm near Kimball's Corner in Naples, Maine the farm Uncle George called "Limbo". I imagine Anne there, near the end of her days, after George's death. I don't know if she had a cat or if the grass was unmown but my cousin Bill, who spent many summer days at Limbo with his Grampa and Granny, says he recognizes Anne on the step, down to the persistent cigarette ash.

Aunt Anne Puts The Cat Out
For The Last time
She stood on the door rock
of granite hand quarried
two generations back.
Only the cat’s white tail shows
as it follows its trail
through uncut grass
to the barn.
She hesitates just
as the breeze pauses,
tipping her head to hear
the sigh of yard tree tops
relaxing. One cricket
of the chorus start too soon
and, embarrassed, stops.
Sounds so soft the scuff
of carpet slippers
on stone drowns them.
Her constant cough’s so small
the pendant ash of the cigarette
pinched in her thin lips
still won’t fall.
Her hands, spotted, knobbed
and veined, no longer
need to find each other
to be at rest: no longer 
pick at faded flowers
on her cotton dress.


  1. Just like a Dustbowl-era WPA photoportrait.

  2. That's a lovely poem, Bob. I read it and think about the poem's loveliness, and the qualities of character,psyche and soul that make such a poem and such loveliness possible. On another note, Dana Wilde was a student of mine many eons ago, then a colleague in Bulgaria--my best bar none teaching/living/writing experience abroad--a mere eon or so ago. Congratulations for your new book and for Dana's fine review, for which I can take no credit and a former professor whatsoever--when he was a student, he was a bright enthusiast. His soundness of judgment and critical expression--along with his Ph.D. in English from Binghamton, was all on the strength of his own remarkable bootstraps. Cheers, Ken Rosen (wow--Sheehy O'Malley, eh? I'd forgotten that was an old Google moniker: Sheehy being Joyce's favorite Irish name, for fusing both genders, and Mr. O'Malley being Barnaby's cigar-chomping fairy godfather, according to Crockett Johnson, of Progressive Monthly magazine, a long ago voice in the wilderness!)