Jonathan Potter
  • Jonathan Potter
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Cocoon

  • The zodiac, the dozen eggs, the twelve
  • Apostles, roses, donuts, tribes, the hours
  • That make a clock, the months that make a year,
  • The years that make a marriage warp and weave,
  • Your eyes, your mouth, your hair, your body’s curve,
  • Your Capricorn determination, your
  • Boyish hands and funny toes, silk flowers
  • Beneath your feet, the clock-face moon above,
  • Myself beside you with what I believe,
  • My dozen schemes, my songs to you, and our
  • Conspiracy to manage to endure
  • Each other’s faltering ferocious love —
  • Saint Peter scrambles eggs and stands for us
  • And silkworms weave their slender strands for us.

Audubon’s Lament

  • The bird that breathed beneath my brush
  • Is dead.
  • The beak beyond the paint on paper
  • Cried
  • Out silence in my dream this morning
  • When the sun
  • Crept in my bedroom window
  • With the turning Earth’s orbit’s
  • Arc.
  • I woke to wake and put my day
  • Down —
  • And have not risen since.
  • The wings of morning wept,
  • The sparrows in the bush
  • Did hush.

When I Was Broke

  • When I was broke and money spent
  • I pawned my board to pay the rent;
  • To buy some beer to ease my ache
  • I sold my car for pity’s sake
  • And walked to where the road was bent.
  • When darkness hit and made a dent
  • Against whatever light had meant,
  • I laid down hearts and let them break
  • When I was broke.
  • When I awoke not to repent,
  • The sunlight seemed not heaven sent
  • But blinking in I let it make
  • My heart lick frosting from the cake
  • That someone left outside my tent
  • When I was broke.

Jonathan Potter, the author of the poetry collection House of Words (Korrektiv Press, 2010), lives in Spokane, Washington, with his wife and daughters.  His poetry has appeared in Dappled Things, RiverLit, the Imago Dei anthology (Abilene Christian University Press, 2012), Railtown Almanac (Sage Hill Press, 2014), and on The Writer’s Almanac radio segment hosted by Garrison Keillor.

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