Two Poems

by Glen Armstrong


Girl in a Snow Drift

I knew about the birds and the bees

but not what they did in the wintertime:

December dismembered them

and redid their parts in the spring.

I never thought of myself

as a sensitive boy,

but I wasn’t a bully:

my heart was cold for other reasons.

Something about the way she stood

there in her purple hooded parka

made me take off my gloves

and warm a handful of dry snow

into an ice ball.

This was our standoff:

she, bearing the icy wind

and the taunts of the other boys

who had given up and gone inside;

me, unable to offer her

a smaller December.

Isabella Is Going to the Bat Show

There was a song when she was a girl

about shadows and long trees,

the mournful braying

of something other

than a cow less than an hour

after sundown.

She refuses to make her rounds,

to patrol, consider or take

notice. The time

for such inventories has passed.

The curtain rises.

There is a song

about taillights fading.

The beginning and the end

shake as if

they’re rattling apart,

or discovering each

other cautiously,

hands now extended, the show

now forgotten.

Glen Armstrong holds an MFA in English from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and teaches writing at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan. He edits a poetry journal called Cruel Garters and has three recent chapbooks: Set List (Bitchin Kitsch,) In Stone and The Most Awkward Silence of All (both Cruel Garters Press.) His work has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Conduit and Cloudbank.

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