poem index

Packet

Jamie Ross
A green light that comes
when you never saw it coming, never
heard it, felt it, but you knew it

like the woman in the sandlot
behind Abram's Grill
who's just lost her lenses, 
on her hands and knees, her 
hair cut short but seems as if 
it's flowing, and the rush 
on her throat like a rise
from birth, the music in the car
 
as the engine goes silent
while you fold down a seat
for the stashed beam lantern 
with its yellow plastic grip, six 
Ray-O-Vacs, the
movement in the trees 
beyond Lake Michigan. It's

a wave like that
when the wind gets lost 
and the mail-boat from Racine, three
hours late, cracks into a tanker,
where the crew, like you, has
waited on the decks, in the hold
for two months out, to send

a message home—or to get a
certain scent, for just one instant,
of weeds, in the dirt, the both
 
of you groping.

From Four Way Books by Jamie Ross. Copyright © 2010 by Jamie Ross. Used by permission of Four Way Books.

Jamie Ross