Peter Klappert poems

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Thanksgiving

- by Peter Klappert 37

What a day to dismantle a roller-coaster.
Well, they are taking it down--
the tracks are all over the ground
and the ties drawn up. The ticket office
is shut, the calliope covered with tarps.

These workmen move their rides
from town to town, with the weather,
and a day gained dismantling
is a day to them. They are grateful
for the day gained, and for the silence
in a park where only ducks and I remain.

As if against the numb fall sky,
sounds of hammers and crowbars
and the changing voice of one man's oldest son
rebound from pond to light pole and away.
Tomorrow they'll be on their way
to Arkansas, or a place they haven't
been before; today they're making time.

Today they're making time. The doors
of the van are open, the van is dark.
The cars stand there in a line, as if
they are not well or have something
to tell the man who stands on the tail-gate.
This corner of the park is nearly flat.

Chokecherries

- by Peter Klappert 36

Thirty feet from my windows,
an old kennel-wire fence
thickly grown over with honeysuckle,
poison ivy, and wild roses
just beginning to open
into the loose sort of droopy garlands
an aesthetic young farmer
might drape around Elsie
or Dobbin.

....................Where the wire ends
and the knotted up, spiraling vines
paw toward more light, six slim
grey trunks of chokecherry
feather into leaves and
clusters of blossoming fronds
that lift and fall with the breeze
like diminutive mare's tails
--each separate flower a rose,
each separate flower
three-eighths of an inch of
white disk, radiant
about a head of yellow-gold stamens.

Beyond the chokecherries
and a rutted road, beyond
locusts posts and barbed wire,
a deepening pasture lights up
with ranunculus, "little frogs"
for some reason, lights up
--in fact--with buttercups
as clouds move sunlight around.

And beyond them, veiled
and perhaps faintly blue
in the distance, broadly
lit by the same shifting light,
four rounded green mountains,
on the nearest and tallest of which
someone has built a white silo
and low barn--or more likely
some kind of radar station
that talks all night to darkness,
some kind of early warning,
perhaps an observatory.

............................. ..........I'm
just happy to stand here,
and hold my vote close,
white-blinded and stupidly
gazing into random galaxies
and minor constellations, starbursts
of yellow-haired stamens
in white corollas.

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