Offcourse Literary Journal

Three Poems, by Michael Kinnaird.

Two Rivers.

1. Safe to Sleep

From our beds we'd call out
"Daddy, is that a monster?"
As the late flights rumbled
Across the narrow river.

"No, it's an airplane,"
Daddy would answer,
Suspecting that we already knew.

"Daddy, I think it's a monster,
Can I come sit in your lap?"

Just another reason for us to jump out of bed,
To have another hug, another drink of water;
Just another way for us to tell ourselves again
That with our Daddy around,
No monster ever had a chance.

2. Session One

After the dinner, after dessert,
Family jokes and careful conversation,
Finally, then, a few miles of silence
As we drive on home towards the river.

Mother's face is dimly lit
By the cool light of the dashboard;
A verdant aroma of seasonal growth
Reminds us of gardens and kitchens.

Father sits alone in the back,
His oxygen leaning against his leg.
He has a chemo port installed in his shoulder,
An empty ice cream cup in his hand.

He looks out the window at the new spring night
That is rushing by now, rushing by;
We drive on home towards the river in silence,
With his thoughts flying over the world.


Aunt Viola at the Gate


a pleasant invitation to lunch,
then talk in the afternoon:

the light sifting through
the sitting room window
brushes pastel clothes,
the chairs, her short gray hair,
resembling her impressionist paintings.

she takes out an album
and holds out the pictures
of a trip she once made to scotland;

she stands before st. andrew's gate,
her hand closed gently upon it,
the large brown stones hold
the hue of her dress, her pensive face
turned down and away.

aunt viola at the gate
("oh please do not let it be locked")
aunt viola at the gate


Mike Kinnaird's work has appeared in Offcourse Issue #5, Fall 99, Issue #7 Summer 00, Issue #11 Fall 01, and Issue #14 Summer 02.


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