William Derge Poetry

Chicory

Our path is lined
with wild chicory flowers.
Every morning we walk
through the wide and overgrown
field behind the house,
two old guys, each with a
limp and a bad eye,
trampling down the grass.

I don’t know why the sky blue flowers
run only along our path .
I’m sure if I asked,
a botanist could give me
a reasonable explanation.

I like to think that we,
the dog and I,
are the unwitting sowers
of the chicory seeds that
come to grow along the way,
like a river that had changed
places with its banks
or a sea, parted and sewn back
with a holy staff
in a mortal chase and its aftermath.

.

.

Masks

Cover up. Cover over.
My brother always got the better,
somebody powerful, superhero, historical big guy.
Me? I got hobos, Bozos, Howdy Doody,
I hid a whole lot of shit behind my mask,
acne, chapped lips, cat scratches, pink eye.
He didn’t seem to have anything to hide.
Except every year, after Halloween,
he made sure he hid his mask from me
so I’d never find it. So, I never tried.
I just went on being Moe, the second stooge,
until my brother died.

.

.

Physical

He looks at you
As if to say,
We’re in for a little turbulence.
But you are thinking,
This plane will never
Reach its destination
In one piece

He touches you as if he were
Making an unwanted advance.
And you are thinking,
I am violated and scarred.

He asks you to lie down
Like a confident lover.
And you are thinking,
I am already dead.

It’s nothing, he says.
Really nothing.

>

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About the contributor

William Derge Poetry - Derge won the $1,000 2010 Knightsbridge Prize judged by Donald Hall and the Rainmaker Award judged by Marge Piercy. He has received honorable mentions in contests sponsored by The Bridge, Sow’s Ear, and New Millennium, among others. He has been awarded a grant by the Maryland State Arts Council.

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