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   Jacket 33 — July 2007        link Jacket 33 Contents page        link Jacket Homepage

Burt Kimmelman

Two poems

House, Normandy
      21 August 2005

The bee bends to
the thistle. The
chestnut tree lets

go of its fruit.
We cling to the
late summer light.

The hedge around
the house has grown
wild, yet the gate

is open to
show we are home.
Stone walls have stood

these four hundred
years – since someone,
much like us, first

thought about the
sun, rain and wind.
This bright morning

we sit and sip
our coffee, the
dew everywhere,

moss on the bricks
beneath our feet.
The day will come,

perhaps, when the
the forest will
enfold us all.

Even the stones
will disappear,
left abandoned.

Crumbs upon the Table

We sit together
in the early light,
only half awake,

eating the first food
of the day, and let
some crumbs fall upon

the table, talking
about the terrors
in the morning news

on the radio –
and I think of how
beautiful you are,

and imagine what
you will do when you
leave for school, what peace

I will make with the
world, what bargain will
be struck. Casually,

you brush the crumbs to
the floor, turn your back,
pick up your coat and

bag, peer into the
mirror a moment,
and go out the door.


Burt Kimmelman has published five collections of poetry – Musaics (1992), First Life (2000), The Pond at Cape May Point (2002), a collaboration with the painter Fred Caruso, Somehow (2005), and There Are Words (2007). For over a decade, he was Senior Editor of Poetry New York: A Journal of Poetry and Translation. He is a professor of English at New Jersey Institute of Technology and the author of two book-length literary studies: The “Winter Mind”: William Bronk and American Letters (1998); and, The Poetics of Authorship in the Later Middle Ages: The Emergence of the Modern Literary Persona (1996, paperback 1999). He also edited The Facts on File Companion to 20th-Century American Poetry (2005).