“Our Mothers: The Poetry of Lynne Viti & Heather Bryant” in 4th & Sycamore lit mag, today!

Two poets imagine their mothers meeting in the “Fifties and ‘Sixties, even though they never did!

 

https://fourthandsycamore.com/2018/02/28/our-mothers-two-poems-by-lynne-viti-and-heather-corbally-bryant/

Leftovers

The gray cat keeps watch by the window, staring at a sunless day.

Her head turns, ears on alert, when two juncos alight on the deck.

The Christmas tree’s colored lights garish in the morning.

Half-drunk bottles of cabernet litter the kitchen counter,

red carnations in the table settings have gone limp.

Please don’t ask about the children, no longer children, now men,

back at their own digs. We’ve haven’t heard from them

since they packed up their gifts and the leftovers in plastic tubs.

They could be sleeping all, day, or filling out job applications,

or heaving weights at the gym. Might be watching You Tube,

how to cook favorite foods of The Wire. Any hope

of grandchildren on the horizon is misguided, don’t ask about that, either.

Extreme climate: eight degrees at eight a.m. The President

won’t stop tweeting. I watch the juncos, brave against the cold.

~Lynne Viti

 

Originally published in the South Florida Poetry Journal, January 2018 issue

 

You can pre-order my new poetry collection , The Glamorganshire Bible, from Finishing Line Press by March 23! $13.99.  Proceeds from author’s copies in lieu of royalties go to Mercy High School, Baltimore, MD, for scholarship and development funds.

*Viti 3 BandW version 1 (1)

 

 

 

Pear Candle, Half-Spent

download

Wax like burnt sugar

It’s a round pregnant belly with

white mold-like coating,

a scoop dug out of

the heavy  bottom,

a thread of black umbilical cord

protruding—

it  sits on a

saucer of Portuguese crockery.

~Lynne Viti

Reprinted from Punting, Origami Poems Project, January 2018. Download the chapbook and assemble it!

Leukapheresis

I wrote this last winter, when our dear friend was undergoing yet another cancer treatment. He had done well after a stem cell transplant procedure, but a year later the cancer returned. The poem was my way of expressing my helplessness, and the waiting to hear news of how he was faring with this treatment, which I knew very little about until I did some research into it.

 

Leukapheresis

                                           For DF

There’s a dispute in your blood,

Red cells against the white.

You’re in no shape to talk.

We’re playing your music,

it fills the living room.

You’re having another procedure—

it spills out unpronounceable names.

They’re taking the white from your blood.

Let them.

Leucocytes, they’re taking you into custody,

so the capillaries can do their job, submit

to collection, centrifugation, spinning.

The basophils (Greek, basis, philein, to love),

the polymorphonuclear leukocytes,

those feisty granular immune cells,

the eosinophils, who so love eosins, the acid dyes,

that they embrace their stain, must be silent.

The rest of us, here at home this February day

do what we can. We wait,

wait, from Old French, guaiter,

wait and watch over.

~Lynne Viti

Originally published in Punting, Origami Poems Project,  Copyright 2018

 

 

In Your Absence I Am Wearing Your Hat

And a pair of old shorts I found

in your closet, threads dangling from

the disintegrating khaki fabric.

I sleep on my back at night, careful not

to disturb the pillow on your side of the bed.

In the morning I’m unpracticed at making coffee,

Stumbling through the task, forgetting the filter,

or remembering the filter, forgetting the filter basket.

Your hat, the one you bought for hiking hills in Sicily,

fits me perfectly. I look like

an Australian crocodile wrassler,

or maybe the Marlboro man, though

your hat has a chin strap and a toggle.

Vents above the brim let in the sweet morning air.

Your hat smells like you, the sweatband

Exudes the scent of your soap and your shaving cream.

When you come back I’ll happily surrender the hat,

Strands of my hair stuck fast to its woven fibers.

 

–Lynne Viti

originally published  in January 2017, in Punting, Origami Poems Project