Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Scrimgeour Poems

By Jim Scrimgeour

Who's Blind Round This House Anyway

Hey, honey, I can't find it. Are you
sure there's a can of soup left? Yes,
I've looked in the diagonal cupboard, checked
every single can. There's a lot of peas
and string beans, some tomato paste, but
no chicken noodle soup. Are you sure
we're not out of it? I've felt around
in all the corners, especially that dark
little pocket to the back and the left of the opening
where fingers slide in. Yes, I'm sure,
absolutely sure, it's not behind the string beans
or the tuna fish, especially the tuna fish.
I can see, you know.

So we gotta stop buying tuna fish, but
what's how many dolphins they kill
to make one can of tuna fish to do
with the missing soup, which I don't really need
anyway. I'll just munch some saltines. No,
I'm not playing hero, and I don't need your hand
to guide me, that is, unless
you really want to ... Well,
well, what do you know? There it is --
behind the tuna fish, right where
you said it was -- feels kinda good,
your hand on my hand on the last can
of chicken noodle soup, don't it?

Rocking with Quinn

at 6:30 am -- everyone else, my wife,
my daughter, her husband, resting after
the creation, after the first six days

of my grandson's life, rocking
in the chair we bought as a baby
present, rocking in the same basic,

elemental rhythm as the sea, the strands
of grey beard on my bowed chin mingling
with Quinn's wispy newborn locks --

the slight shudder that shakes
his entire body -- goes through
me also -- the warmth of his small

6 day old head seeps through his new
outfit, his blanket, my rainbow trout
T shirt to my chest, just as

my warmth seeps through to him --
so peaceful, so quiet, so serene
as the swaddling cloth, our clothes,

the newborn and aging skin dissolve
in the stream of spirit travelling
both ways -- like the warmth

mingling together -- as if we were
not already, would not always be
merged, as if any combination of cloth

and flesh could ever keep us apart.

Jim Scrimgeour, professor of English at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury, is among 10 poets and writers reading from their works Sat., March 10, 2007 at Fiddleheads Natural Foods Supermarket, Litchfield, Ct.


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