The Vocabula Review

October 2007, Vol. 9, No. 10 Monday, May 2, 2016

Two Poems Gary Margolis
Web version

Tree in the Mirror

A few days a year, like today,
I am home alone.
With the furnace coming on,
With the wind seeping through
the willow leaves and through
a doorsill. With dust and cobwebs,
light reflecting off the wooden
floors. Alone with shelves
and windows, empty beds,
books read and half-read,
newspaper and silverware.
Here by myself, my mind
wandering through its own
electricity, stories of
chairs, abandoned and
redeemed, how swallows
came to be sewn into
their covers and flying nearby,
as if they wanted to come in.
As if they didn't know I love
my loneliness, the way Wright's
ponies did. He wrote
There is no loneliness like
. And mine, I want
to say back to Jim, standing
over there, with them, across
the road, beyond the fence,
as if across this room
where nothing is said,
where everything I see—
tree in the mirror, a river
of scarves—
speaks for itself, in its own

Overrunning the World

My wife says it doesn't take long
     before the Loosestrife she is pulling
from her garden, she piles
     on the trash to burn, appears
in a line in one of her husband's
     poems. That somehow the breeze
carries one of the two and a half
     million seeds away from its flower
and into his passing thoughts,
     the mind's hothouse, that can't
let things be as they are, won't
     let them go. All day the idea
of those purple petals—dyed bees really—
     taking over the yard and then a field
is almost too much not to imagine,
     not to want, to bare, to
carry, as if they were code
     for nothing less than the meaning
of life, or at least theirs, the Loosestrife
     signals they are meant to live.
Back in their house, in his mind,
     he's trying to find an image for
how anxious a flower can feel
     that it must send so much of itself
into the wind, that it must know
     this is how to overrun the world
with Beauty, to see his wife leaving
     a few stalks for the wild bees
to do with what they will.

If you enjoyed these poems,
let your friends read them, too

Gary Margolis

Gary Margolis :: Move me   Gary Margolis is Executive Director of Counseling and an Associate Professor of English at Middlebury College in Vermont. His most recent book of poetry, Fire in the Orchard, was nominated for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize. His poem, "A Shadow of a Nest," appears in Billy Collins's anthology 180 More Extraordinary Poems for Every Day Life. His new manuscript of poems is The Other Flag.

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