These three poems by Cordelia Hanemann explore the complexities of the dark and the light that lurk in many of our most ordinary experiences…
by: Cordelia Hanemann
family reunion : saving face squirrels scattering crumpled leaves who would believe I'd have to run away to love my people the chaos of too many voices whims, urgencies, interruptions stinging words : no saving my story nor face : just me back turned marching through the house doors closing behind the air outside is sweet blowing through my hair across my face the purr of my Prius shuttles me out and away to my park, its path, the dark lake-waters walking walking walking cormorants crowding / turtles sunning on logs Text from grandchild: Mimi, why did u leave? who would believe I had anything worthwhile to say : old lady when everything else is interesting no one listens to you I needed a little space in the chaos/ I'm walking/ almost done/ be back soon. hurt feelings moving through limbs, lungs, mouth flying out of me like ashes on a windy day : silence a place to keep your thoughts my body: legs/ heartbeat/ breath nearby heron standing patient/ regal/ calm in the still waters of a quiet afternoon
Teen Dysphoria Once I grew my hair too long. Mistaken for a girl, so I cut it in a butch to be sure I was a boy. Only. I missed that girl I was not, and the boy in my pants and in my throat and growing through the roof seems like someone else.
lost son returns to the father's farm I don't know what I thought I'd find nothing but wind in the grass the stars themselves like old lovers gone the way of wasted days their little lights barely recalled like the passing there of flashing blades shearing stalks of dry corn weeds creeping over abandoned furrows rows now stumbling blocks for me the traveler lost without a road still in the air smell of straining motor exhaust and smoke smell of soil new turned smell of grass crushed underfoot the night wind blows the rumble of an antique tractor too much work left to be done burnt rubber distant wood smoke corn stalks brittle and dry rattling in the autumn chill I am alone here the sky black with burnt out stars
Cordelia Hanemann is currently a practicing writer and artist in Raleigh, NC. A retired professor of English at Campbell University, she has published in numerous journals including Atlanta Review, Connecticut River Review, Southwestern Review, and California Review; anthologies, The Poet Magazine’s new anthology, Friends and Friendship and forthcoming, Adversity, Heron Clan and Kakalak and in her own chapbook, Through a Glass Darkly. Her poems have won awards and been nominated for Pushcarts. Recently the featured poet for Negative Capability Press and The Alexandria Quarterly, she is now working on a first novel, about her roots in Cajun Louisiana.