Big Game Hunter

A little man with big trophies mounted
on the wall of his office—

he means to impress school kids
and their parents,

show them he’s more than what he thinks
they see in him.

Maybe they dear him. I think they most
likely laugh instead

and shake their heads behind his back.
We all know a few

small men with big trophies mounted
on the walls of their egos.

—Annmarie Lockhart ©2014

Caity Turns 19

Driving my daughter home for spring break, stuck
in stop-and-go traffic on the Pennsylvania 95
(which I still do not understand), I see a sudden blur.
A small dog, chow or pomeranian maybe, wearing
the face of joy, runs north in the left lane (normally
reserved for passing).

Drivers attempt to corral the dog between their cars
and the median, but this dog doesn’t know from a rock
and a hard place. Men abandon their cars, turning
the roadway into rodeo, dashing and grabbing at a
little dog running like the wind, his frosted fur
chopping like a stormy day on the Hudson River. 

A veer to the right, a swerve to the left, one final 
turn back right, and our canine hero heads the wrong 
way down the entrance ramp past the 18-wheeler
stopped still amid the chaos. We lose sight of him.
My daughter, different now than she was in September,
calls 911 to report the incident complete with mile markers.

A week later we drive back the same way. I return
the freshman to second semester and realize 
we do not know what happened to our little friend,
the runaway. I hope he made it safely back
to his doggie bed, safe and sound, where he
can dream about the run of his life.

—Annmarie Lockhart ©2014

Sometimes in the Car, With My Daughters

They sing radio
songs, tomorrow’s memories roll
under today’s tires.

—Annmarie Lockhart ©2014

Purge

It’s spring and you are cleaning.
Wearing no apron, no gloves,
pouring no bleach,

you gather things to burn,
letting the land reclaim
its bones and shells,

setting fire to hieroglyphs, smiley
faces, receipts from lunches
of long-since-eaten oysters.

—Annmarie Lockhart ©2014

Eve’s Conundrum

Sure, we all know she ate the apple.
But here’s what she’s lived with since:
an insatiable desire for that first bite,
over and over again,
the one she took
right before the worms came
and spoiled the rest of it.

—Annmarie Lockhart ©2014

Sexting on the Subway

wat u wearing?

(;

?

thoughts of you 
and the blush
of heat
that follows

damn girl!
just 4 me?

only you

(:

—Annmarie Lockhart ©2014

24 hours in the ER

We talk about mothers, 
what it means to be male,
female, the hilarious absurdity
of a high school senior attending
an eighth-grade dance,
the ubiquity and inevitability 
of pee and puke, the sadness
and longing that accompanies
growing old.

We talk about everything
except the big three:
the vibrant scope of love
the ferocious pull of sex
the tenacious hold of death.

We lose ourselves instead
in the scent of antisepsis
in thriving colonies of blood,
bone, and bacteria.

—Annmarie Lockhart ©2014

Mother Nature Is in a Mood

The sunrise threatened
to be glorious, but changed
its mind halfway through,
went with just OK instead
pale blue background for bare trees.

—Annmarie Lockhart ©2014

Gloves

black leather, perfect size, fit
like skin, but not too tight,
good for winter but not for
snowball fights

fine light brown dust
ground into the palm side
from a day of news and new
things and photographs

the scent and color
of wood rolled in the grain
like fingerprints
lifted off a perfect day

—Annmarie Lockhart ©2014

Things We Ate

cheesesteaks with mushrooms (inadvertent), corned
beef cabbage and soda bread, steel-cut oatmeal, salami
olives and prosciutto, baguettes by the dozen, eggs
(scrambled but also fried over grits), the good bacon,
angel hair with tomatoes and peas (made by men in
restaurants and kitchens, no cream, no cheese), fudge,
Pop-Tarts (maternity food), spaghetti and meatballs
with sausage, angel food cake, devil’s food cake,
pound cake, blueberry pie (on the hottest summer day
with my homemade crust and improvised rolling pin),
horseradish and bacon cheese, liverwurst, edamame
(maternity food), sushi, Chinese, Thai (with questions),
Indian (twice with questions), Mexican (fake), steak
(red blood passion food), chili (but never chili mac,
so gross), mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes (either
marshmallows or bourbon), cranberry-walnut-chicken
salad, turkey-stuffing-cranberry sauce sandwiches, 
mallomars and beer (don’t judge), Nutella (with and
without peanut butter), peanut butter (before and after
the breakout), chicken (how was it?), muffuletta (with
Abita), pea soup, ham (salty and saltier), bagels with
cream cheese, bagels with the good butter, airport
food, chain food (with the football coach), pizzelles,
pizza and not-pizza, strawberries, bellinis, pink drinks,
anise bears, chocolate turtles, fennel seeds, oranges
(just-picked maternity food), love, fury, ennui, ecstasy,
all the colors of the rainbow

and we still always had room for dessert

—Annmarie Lockhart ©2014