Sunday, July 21, 2013

Two Poems by Marianne Szlyk


No one will ever say to me
“it was so
it hurt.”

My red is not the red
of a carefully cultivated rose
against a white fence.

My orange is not the orange
of the lilies
crowding the base of a statue
of St. Francis of Assisi.

My petals are as stiff
as the plastic flowers
in your mother’s closet.

My scent is musty,
from the days before
air conditioning.

a flower.

Black Locust after the Storm

The last black locust, half-dead,
totters at the edge of the cemetery;
its fellows’ branches and stacked wood
are scattered throughout.

This tree is the last living relative,
the last of the gangly old women
with clip-on earrings
or the last of the old men
with work-gnarled hands.

This tree is the last who remembers.

Marianne Szlyk is an associate professor of English at Montgomery College, Rockville as well as an associate editor at the Potomac Review.  Most recently, her poems have appeared in the Blue Hour Literary Anthology Volume Two, Jellyfish Whispers, and Aberration Labyrinth.

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