Fall 2009, #16
       "Woodchuck vs. the Hank Williams Zombie"

Two Poems

     by John Gallaher

The Passengers

Because a person can be so small, interior
of a woman floating down
the supermarket isles, past the pharmacy
and cosmetics.

Which is more bright, the color
of the shampoo, the distance from lime green
to mango, or the lights upon her skin,
her blue hooded sweatshirt.

Which is more common,
the floating of the body
or the way the arms extend
past the head, covering the face.

The way the floor
becomes a wall. And what forgetting is there
in color. What argument.

She could take as long as she wants. Interior
of a woman who might be pretty,
as everyone begins to lift
down the supermarket aisles
past the cosmetics.

And what do we have to say to each other now
that is not already
the way it was.

The History of Entanglements

You drive down the block. All the garages
are open. Fathers are working with their sons.

I’ll tell you those rock candy mountains,
they say, as part of the speech
they cut out of a magazine and placed on the wall
next to the door to the laundry room.

On the sidewalk, we were lost,
though we only had the two directions
to choose from, so that now,
we could try a sort of rotating circle backward,
to encompass more territory.

It was this father, I think. The one
with the blue shirt, in some next address
nearly spilling the interior of the house
into the yard, pictures up on the walls
of fathers helping sons.

Doesn’t it make you happy,
driving the car through early fall,
with all these garages open. All these trampolines.

On the next street, in the second headache
or the third headache, it’s started to rain a bit.

Perhaps this was the dog that was in that yard
that year. It has set itself up under the maples,
beneath some stones.