ISSN 1556-4975

OffCourse Literary Journal

 Published by Ricardo and Isabel Nirenberg since 1998


Three Poems by Jonathan Bracker

An Oldster

He cannot get up from bed in the morning
Like a boy
Or a jack-in-the-box
When its lid is raised.

He remains where he is.
He thinks about what to think about
Or whether to think at all
And, if so, about what.

That does not work. Clumsily
He lifts today’s sheet and blanket.
Rising, he finds he is able
To get out from under again.


A Woman I Know

She is very fond of her cat
And although she does not dote on him
She gives him lots of attention
And is simply grateful for his being there
With her in her small apartment
Now that she is elderly and lives alone.

Next to her computer desk
She has placed a small table for him to use
To rest on.  Often he pads over
And leaps up onto it. 
Liking being there,
Sometimes he watches her send an email

Or look stuff up on the Web.
The woman believes
Her cat is fond of her: their relationship
Is not a one-way street. 
It is precisely
What the cat needs and the woman too.


The beeping of that truck outside
Backing up
Sounds like a cat meowing.
It really does.

I have a cat here
To prove it.
But after two or three
Of her harsh statements

When I say “No” to Mona
She stops;
Unlike that truck,
She is cooperative with me.

Poems by Jonathan Bracker have appeared in The New YorkerPoetry NorthwestSouthern Poetry Review and other periodicals, and in eleven collections, the latest of which, New Poems, is available from Amazon as a print-on-demand book.

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