Three poems by Cordelia Hanemann

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.
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
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. 

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