Holiday 2014 - THE POTOMAC

Two Poems

   James Kwapisz

F(reedom) 459

The first sunny day
of Spring,
and here I am
at the DMV,
staring into space:
the back of
an old man's neck;
liver spots, warts.

"Now serving:
at counter four."

Call my number soon,
cut me loose
from the tangles
of this old man's
strange neck hair,
growing in tufts
where no tuft
has grown before.

What imperialistic

"Now serving..."

I feel some
sepia-toned nostalgia;
memories of forefathers'
progress and rage
(their rational rage)
that has made us all
slaves, natives,
tangled in this
man's neck hair.

But then,
she beckons me:

"Now serving:

Her methodical music,
her promise, makes
you cherish
your waiting
—our waiting—
our despair,
because soon,
there'll be fresh air,
light, and soon,

Here we are, we
are at the DMV.


Turkey Vultures

All huddled about the skull
and spine of a squirrel,
gently piecing each rib
to each knob—
their beaks like tweezers,
the masked craftsmen finish
the frame of the ship,
easing their way through
the mouth, feeding her meat
as if she were their chick
and tucking her in
with a nice warm pelt.

When the mast is hoisted
they nudge their fledgling
on to set sail,
hissing goodbyes
as they prepare for their retreat,
for summer is coming
and the sun is setting in the east.

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