Mudlark Poster No. 63 (2006)

Five Poems  |  Peter Waldor

A Man Touches A Woman’s Cream Jar | South Orange Winter
Exhaustion Pleasure | Honeymoon | Milk Humility

Peter Waldor lives in New Jersey where he works in the insurance business. His poems are forthcoming in American Poetry Review, Iowa Review, West Branch, Sugar Mule and Margie.

A Man Touches A Woman’s Cream Jar

A split sea,
a hawthorn hedge,
an elevator, 
an honor guard,
a dusky hallway
and the man is before
the glass shelves
and the jar,
the jar, 
either the trade of Crete
or Jamaica,
for all great jars
come from islands,
for a jar is an island.
It is enough to touch
the secret,
forefinger and third
against the wall.
Inside, a thimble of cream,
enough for a life,
for a daughter to try,
but here I digress
for the man has removed
his fingers
and he has no theory.
No one knows of his journey,
not even the woman
will know her jar moved an inch
among the others,
the brushes,
the pastes.

South Orange Winter

The trees are honest now.
I hope for fog, cloud
with broken strings.  Too cold.
A policeman waits on a stoop
cracking pistachios
before he storms a house.
Thin jacket unzipped.
The suspect still asleep.

Exhaustion Pleasure

I had sweetness but not enough sweetness.
With poor Chester, for example.
True I wept for the stricken mumbler,
a lonely man, who had one sweater,
a V neck with maroon border.  True I sat
with him a moment, but if I had enough
sweetness, I would not adore exhaustion,
I would not dream of the dead I knew
whose only trace is in my imagination,
my imagination, that chalk on rock.
If  I had enough sweetness, with Chester,
I would never mention him.


High in the ruins,
reaching for my hand,
my love fell backwards.
There was only grass
where paving stones once
would have broken her.
I led her slowly down
to port where everyone
was gone, just an octopus
left strung on a pole.
At the end of the day
one unclaimed monster
for our pleasure.

Milk Humility

Half-way up the window which is half-way
to heaven there is a pint of milk balanced
on the cool pane.  The drinker takes
an afternoon to sip the carton.
If slats, frame, and glass are forgotten
there is just a floating carton.
The hillside beyond has not blossomed.
The milk has not blossomed.
The drinker, no blossom.

Copyright © Mudlark 2006
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