Spring 2008, Volume 4

Poetry by Ellen Reich

Time Is Measured

That horse lying in the high noon
will not always lie there.
With the afternoon breeze
he will rise, find water, ingest dry grass.

He will stand under the moonís fullness
as I lie in bed anticipating the day to follow.
I give myself solitude
but structure each day in segments anyway.

For two days I have not spoken a word.
I have not used cosmetics.
I have not combed my hair.
I have not clipped the whiskers on my facial mole.

The blister on my finger, from cutting
up a bucket of rhubarb, stings.
I stewed the rhubarb with raw sugar just the way
my grandma served it, delightfully sour.

My grandma rode her bike to work
until a stroke took her sight.
There was a tranquility about her that I miss
in my life, mixed with tensionís chemistry.

A second horse lies down next to the first,
not seeking body heat, but I am sure, love.
The first horse rises, shakes dust
from his brown body, switches his tail.

A furry weed floats down on my face.
It tickles my upper lip, set and rigid.
My straight line of resolve often makes me miss
things like this sunny afternoon with no measure.

BIO:  Ellen Reich teaches creative writing and poetry for Santa Monica College, Emeritus Division. She has hundreds of poems published in journals nationally including, most recently, Slipstream, Rattle, (forthcoming) Ginosko, Spire, Gentle Strength and Tiferet. She has won awards and has two books of poetry, The Gynecic Papers and Reverse Kiss.