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

 

 

The Summer People in Winter

Near Uncle Tim’s bridge stands
a dwarf tree with twisted branches, tiny
White blossoms just about to fall—
White sand, shells of horseshoe crabs, not as many
As in years past. Matted salt hay, soft underfoot.
Across the marsh, the old fish cannery-turned-
Yoga studio next to the fish shack, the parking lot empty,
Freshly paved with crushed oyster shells,
White, pristine, waiting for the summer people.

In winter they stay in their houses, reading the paper.
Some sit at the piano, pluck out a few tunes.
Others write letters to the editor, refusing to use
email, preferring paper, envelope, self-adhesive stamps.
They walk their letters to the mailbox,
Wait for the metal clank as their missives disappear
Into the blue container. Pickup, 4 PM.

The summer people in winter wear
Their good coats to the opera. They don
Their special sports gear for the hockey arena.
They go to work early, they’re the last to leave the office.
They stand for O Say Can You See and O Canada.
They lug their groceries in reusable bags. They
Watch the calendar, dreaming of the marsh,
The kettle ponds’ clear water, the warm waves
Late August afternoons, on the bay beach,
White sand near the rock jetty, a fat orange sun
Slow dancing towards the horizon.

~Lynne Viti

Originally published  as a Poem of the Moment, on the Mass. Poetry website, December 2017, http://www.masspoetry.org/poemofthemoment7/

How to Download My Microchapbook, “Punting” — from the Origami Poems Project

clothesline poems clipped
My origami poetry chapbook,
Punting,”  is ready to download (free) & fold –6 poems.
use paper color of your choice and follow the folding instructions!

Last of the Press Run…Baltimore Girls

Just received one last shipment of my 2017 poetry collection, Baltimore Girls, from my publisher–last of the press run. Sales have been good, but I’d love to sell as many of these as possible before my next chapbook is released in the spring. If you ‘re interested in purchasing a copy, please email me at lviti@wellesley.edu,  and I will send you the relevant information. Proceeds from purchases that come directly from me (as opposed to online booksellers) go to scholarship funds at Mercy High Baltimore, and I was pleased to donate those from 2017 to Mercy last month. Thanks for all your support, dear friends and readers.
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Punting

Among the many sweet Christmas gifts that came to me this morning, this–a notification that the Origami Poems Project will be publishing my six-poem collection, “Punting,” in a microchapbook!

Once Punting  is published, copies will be available to blog readers, gratis, until my supply runs out.  If you’d like a copy, please comment on this post.

clothesline poems clipped

Punting

Elvis had just died in Memphis—he was just forty-two.

You and I’d just moved in together,

to a third floor walkup in Brookline.

We were just in Cambridge for a couple days,

long enough to rent a punt,

travel up the River Cam for just a few lazy hours.

I lay back in the boat while you pushed the pole,

I read aloud the King’s obit from the Herald-Trib.

Just the two of us on a calm Tuesday,

drifting, then and later, back home,

for a short while, not quite in love,

just close, a stepping stone

was what we had, just enough for then,

a short prelude to our separate lives.

Now, a fragment of that day

comes back:  your boyish laugh,

your golden curls glinting in the English sun.

 

 

“Lover’s Leap” and “Wellersburg Summer,” in The Writing Hour’s lit mag, “End of 83,” out of Baltimore

Just out!– online and available in print, at https://issuu.com/.

Both  of these poems appear here, on pages 11-13. These are part of my Cumberland series to be published this spring in my second book, The Glamorganshire Bible.