Posts Tagged ‘Martin Willitts Jr.’


June 14, 2010 3 comments

by Martin Willitts Jr.

The onion is pregnant with disappointment,
carrying her squat body to the market,
shedding skin like brown veils,

She has miscarried—
weaving a long strand of pearl-shaped tears
for the loss she still carries
like a phantom memory,
the shape of the embryo, hallow as a conch shell—

She passes a church without mumbling prayers
believing prayers are not heard after all,

Her brown sadness is a skirt touching the ground,

Her husband abandoned her when she needed him most,
absent as prayers, a need that has to get out,
empty as a bottomless well.

If there is anything that removes her pain,
she cannot find it
in the dusty streets
the color of her wrinkles.

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Martin Willitts Jr. has had poems recently in Blue Fifth, Parting Gifts, Storm at Galesburg and other stories (anthology), The Centrifugal Eye, Quiddity, and others. He has been nominated for four Pushcart Awards. His second full length book of poetry is The Hummingbird (March Street Press, 2009). His eleventh chapbook is Baskets of Tomorrow (Flutter Press, 2009), and he has two forthcoming chapbooks, True Simplicity (Poets Wear Prada Press, 2010) and The Girl Who Sang Forth Horses (Pudding House Publications, 2010).

Categories: New Classics Tags:

Simple Things

February 28, 2008 Comments off

“T’s a gift to be simple…” — Shaker hymn

Cows migrate toward a milking pail.
This is his clock, whispers of light
as he pulls on boots, heading out.

He opens the gate
where he once met his wife,
his voice separated by the gate
shutting out temptation.

It is the simple things
like touching a forbidden hand,
pulling fistfuls of milk into a wooden bucket.
These things any man can understand.

Anything else moves quickly
and mysterious as restless petticoats.

It is better to bend time
to the slowest of minutes.
It is simpler this way.

Let other people feel the barometer of the heart.
I want to tend to things
that are deliberate and slow as night
as my wife shakes laundry off the line.

Like how he felt
when he opened that gate
and she stepped though the first time
his hand tumbling into hers,
him crowing the morning.

by Martin Willitts, Jr.

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