Maxine Kumin

 

 

Poems By Maxine Kumin

Where I Live

Waterboarding, Restored

Looking for Luck in Bangkok

 

 

Where I Live

is vertical:
garden, pond, uphill

pasture, run-in shed.
Through pines, Pumpkin Ridge.

Two switchbacks down
church spire, spit of town.

Where I climb I inspect
the peas, cadets erect

in lime-capped rows,
hear hammer blows

as pileateds peck
the rot of shagbark hickories

enlarging last
year's pterodactyl nests.

Granite erratics
humped like bears

dot the outermost pasture
where in tall grass

clots of ovoid scat
butternut-size, milky brown

announce our halfgrown
moose padded past

into the forest
to nibble beech tree sprouts.

Wake-robin trillium
in dapple-shade. Violets,

landlocked seas I swim in.
I used to pick bouquets

for her, framed them
with leaves. Schmutzige

she said, holding me close
to scrub my streaky face.

Almost from here I touch
my mother's death

 

 

 

From WHERE I LIVE: NEW & SELECTED POEMS 1990-2010 (W.W. Norton, 2010)

 

 

 

 

         
    Poetry Center Reading:
    Spring 2011