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Image by Francesco Ungaro

 Frederick Pollack

The Best Light                                                          

Both children call. The boy lists triumphs

they don’t understand but which gradually,

he says, will make money.

The girl reports at length but not

about what they hear in her voice and see on the screen.

When the calls are done (at least they call!)

they’re discussed in the same style,

putting the best light

on what continues dark. Now she, the more mobile,

makes a late breakfast (their

meal), meanwhile prioritizing

chores, other calls, and him. The room

fills up with smells of eggs and dishes;

she opens the window slightly. The welcome

air is chill and damp and redolent

of the past, though less of gifts than promises.



Sometimes I identify

with the strangest things. They’re tearing up

the street outside the house. Not potholes, and

not sewer-work –

not deep enough, but deep

enough to reveal the somehow

disturbing grey-black stuff

ranging in size from dust to rocks,

above it simple stones, and near the surface

surprisingly bright sand that was once soil;

I wonder what grew here. Of course

you can’t ask what they’re doing, even when

they’re just standing around, and they often,

perhaps falsely, seem to be standing around.

I hope they finish soon, and fill that

hole with whatever, so that cars,

including mine, may again

course over asphalt.

About  Frederick Pollack

Author of two book-length narrative poems, THE ADVENTURE and HAPPINESS (Story Line Press; the former reissued 2022 by Red Hen Press), and three collections, A POVERTY OF WORDS (Prolific Press, 2015), LANDSCAPE WITH MUTANT (Smokestack Books, UK, 2018), and THE BEAUTIFUL LOSSES (Better Than Starbucks Books, forthcoming 2023). Many other poems in print and online journals.

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