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Robert Vandermolen - two poems


Those sandy patches on level roads
Are the same
County after county. The homes
And marginal farms (mostly gone into receivership
of small animals) . . .

                In August
It's cool nights. Baseball statistics
Take on a certain depth. In small towns
The woods begin
Where ball fields end

                Just as one
Hits a lift in the pavement
A town appears at the bottom.
At a rounded corner
A building wedges out
Clean and prosperous, a little taller than the others . . .

                Otherwise woodlots, inns, motels,
Marinas sighted through cattails,
Owners of cottages striding gravel lots
To restaurants imitating Florida -
And sometimes the roads
Remind one of Florida
When they drop low into swale.
Crowd up and the pavement swivels,
The land swivels.

                In the town
The crowd,
A center pulsing about the beer tent,

To the bank of the estuary . . .


      Bones in the Trout Pond

The pump chuckles all afternoon
Pulling water from the channel
To the trout pond behind the house

He disappeared wearing his snowmobile suit
Riding out at night
On the Newaygo prairie

And of course the church broke up
Over the Vietnam business

The sheriff standing in a cane patch
Of marijuana, grinning like a cuckold
Which he was

While the woman never comes out,
She's a blondie, peering
Over the sink through her window

Her boys, and backdrop of orchard

A dry wind mowing through the apples


Reprinted with permission from the book Peaches, published in January 1998 by SkyBooks, 1357 W.Summit, Muskegon, MI 49441, USA, ISBN 0-9646557-1-3
Robert Vandermolen
The first of Robert Vandermolen's eight previous books of poetry was published when he was still an undergraduate at Michigan State, and he continues to be widely published in national journals and anthologies. Recipient of a 1995 National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, Mr. Vandermolen works as a house painter in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which allows him free time to spend in the woods and pursuing what is clearly his true vocation.
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