The 2River View 18.4 (Summer 2014)

Jacqueline Dee Parker

The Arboretum

One in four who marry
here in spring may after
honor seasons of rabbits

and buried pets, supper parties,
piano lessons, bad debt.
May toss coins, read runes,

root for trophies and brighter smiles,
bear sacrifices so hard
they ferry a garlicky scent. 

Burning wicks, may bolster
or suffer attachment, hip
to hip, night by every goddamn day.

May tear greens and pick
at the cosmos, dig impatiens
in the sweet bay magnolia’s shade.

May parlay time to err,
ears cocked, cottoning to winks
on cue leave the table,

mashing grasses
in a far field,
flush, another hand—

may later spot the evening
primrose glimmer, his or her
tongue tingling with bitters.

The Guild House Elegy

Balanced at the top
rung of the ladder
he fastened
flocked globes
to the ceiling’s scaffold
with lengths of invisible string
as outside that window
she grew up inside
snow swirled on the green’s
three stone churches,
blinking pizzarias.

In the display she sat
cross with equations,
studying pedestrians
on the other side of glass
bluster past in knit caps,
crowns of crystals fluffed,
dollops of whipping cream, 
clutching satchels
in the rush hour
city buses hissed
to stops.

Around the block
the Schubert’s pit orchestra
tuned while here her father,
bent on design scored
triangles in matboard

soon pyramids
filling the floor,
a cubist forest
he trimmed with untold
measures of red- and
gold-flecked stars.

Jacqueline Dee Parker is an artist, poet, and instructor of art at Louisiana State University. Her mixed media paintings reside in private and corporate collections around the US and her poems appear in journals such as Atlanta Review, E-ratio, The Cortland Review, Chelsea, and The Southern Review. website

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