The Innisfree Poetry Journal
by Al Ortolani
Wedding on a Village Street
A man and a woman ride a rooster from
the town where they were born. The groom
wraps his arms around the bride's shoulders.
She has trouble catching her breath—
her wedding shawl as white as the rooster
that carries them. It is evening, the sky
indigo, the moon like a finger nail. In early
summer there is little fear of the days
growing short, or the nights, not being
long enough. The lovers believe no one
has known passion before this moment,
so deep with falling. Already, the rooster
plans for morning. The world rises
in the east with a clutch of forget-me-nots.
Morning Groans like a Roofer
Another night of trains, I am
sleepless like a moth. Each thought
pushes me from dark shadow
to glowing bulb. I listen in
the quiet hours for a distinct
voice—one that will speak
through the clatter of boxcars,
but the morning has big shoulders.
It broadens in the east, strong from
lifting, hoisting asphalt shingles
up ladders, the sun
splitting the roof like the two
sides of the moon. Even the traffic
muscling onto the interstate,groans up the freeway ramps.
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