Ian C Smith
I fled dismal Des Moines, eager, writing,
inspired by her Pulitzer, sonnets loved.
Staring at coffee I recall sighting
the red-haired poet, our sibyl, my gloved
hand stilled, held cup cooled, picturing her, slim
like her house, at the Rehn, that painter’s show,
his work, creepy houses, crushed hope, stark hymns,
moments when he watched us, still as a crow.
Lights reflect, late now, tattered dreams, love’s wrongs,
my book-shelved room, bed, a ghetto of one
looming, those glimpsed vignettes echo like songs
of refusal to give in, things not done.
I should kick up my heels to Dinah, dance,
avoid ending back in Des Moines. Fat chance!
Ian C Smith’s work has appeared in Antipodes, Australian Book Review, Australian Poetry Journal, Critical Survey, Prole, The Stony Thursday Book and Two Thirds North. His seventh book is wonder sadness madness joy, (Ginninderra, Port Adelaide). He writes in the Gippsland Lakes area of Victoria, and on Flinders Island, Tasmania.