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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