Poems by Sandra K. Basile; photo by Jeff Stevens
Off the Road
In winter, when the trees are bare,
I spy in the woods, off the road,
a small, frozen pond, a hidden rink,
a disk of gold, lit by a low slung sun
I see woodland animals fitted with tiny skates
gliding in circles on the ice, cutting figure eights.
Then I catch sight of the old lady who lives in the yellow house
on top of the sloping hill,
crouched in the tangled, thorny brush, watching.
She looks just like me.
Hope like a Cork
It’s always the story of persistence, isn’t it?
Try and try again. Chin up. Never give up.
But what about those of us who cannot withstand rejection?
Even the least little bit of it?
We hear “no,” and turn away, file away the story, the poem, for never.
Some time later, without thinking, we write something new.
Hope rises like a cork, from dark underwaters,
Driven skyward. It pops forth. Another child looks up.
And we accumulate years in a folder called “Poems.”
Twenty swans in the cove
heads below the dark water
float like bars of soap.
Then white wings stretch and beat.
Make the sound of a helicopter
– chop chop chop – until lift off.
From orange beaks to folded, webbed feet, they fly.
Then – whoosh – they drop, touch down.
Choreographed with a parting of waves
like skirts pulled wide in a curtsy.