Judy Kronenfeld

A bit of good luck spurts
from the phone—your daughter's swooped
on a coveted job—and you let out a whoop
from your diaphragm, you high-five
the air. It's been black as hell's
receiving dock around home; now you’re bathing
under a cascade of light in a Baroque painting:
the sound of your shout wants to ripple out
and touch the far shores, the light 
wants to coat more bowed heads,
but there's no one to tell.
Your confidante has been having a bout
of very bad luck and you know to call
would be flaunting a red boogie dress in the midst
of a funeral. Oh the grief
of the nicked, tarnished
human soul! Yours, because you want her to thrill                       
to your luck as if it were her own;
hers because there's no way she can.
You wish you could hear
your mother (dead) shout
Gott Sei Dank! gratifying
the assumption that good luck
belongs to her progeny as surely
as white purses to July. The ripples
fizz out; the light grows dim
as a 40-watt bulb.
So you ring up a cousin
on your mother’s side,
you haven’t talked to for—what?
a year?—and bless her!
Brava! That's
my girl! her voice exclaims,
bouffant with smiles, bolstering
the illusion families are for.
But really, how did she get               
so good about good luck? you’re thinking
as you embark on the inflated
luxury raft, Elect.  It can't be because
she's "family," since most of the clan excel
at the deflating sneer (when your
luck grows, there's less to go
around) —
                          I always knew she’d get
ahead!  your cousin says in her
larky voice. You practically
levitate off your seat. Expedited
by winged Fedexim, the news of your luck
speeds past the Powers-that-be—
It's up to! it's over the Cherubim
and Seraphim! It's hurdling
the ninth circle of Paradise! It's splashing
into the n-e-e-c-t-a-a-r of the r-o-o-o-s-e-
of light! And the rose, wholeheartedly,


Cloud-foam lavender, heart-glow
topaz, arrow-pierce of blue—the colors
of attraction, my eyes the bees
which come to dwell
flying and alighting,
my eyes the humming
birds, drinking in the nectar
of the buds newly opening
their scarlet throats,
then skimming over to the star-field
of snow-in-summer
like the last sparks
of Roman candles. Can it be
that now when my body
no longer sends or receives
the frantic Morse code
of desire, the world itself
can signal, the world itself
be received?

Judy Kronenfeld's poems have appeared in many journals including The Portland Review, Poetry International, The Cimarron Review, The Evansville Review, Natural Bridge, The Louisville Review, Spillway, Pebble Lake Review, Hiram Poetry Review, Spoon River Poetry Review, The Pedestal, Barnwood, and The Women's Review of Books, as well as in anthologies including Blue Arc West: An Anthology of California Poets (Tebot Bach, 2006), and Red, White and Blues: Poets on the Promise of America (Iowa U. P., 2004). A book of her poems, Shadow of Wings, came out in 1991 (Bellflower Press), a chapbook, Disappeared Down Dark Wells, and Still Falling (The Inevitable Press) in 2000, and another chapbook, Ghost Nurseries (Finishing Line Press) in 2005. Her collection, Light Lowering in Diminished Sevenths, won The Litchfield Review Poetry Book Prize for  2007 and was published by The Litchfield Review Press, in summer 2008. She teaches in the Department of Creative Writing, UC Riverside.



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