Two Poems

Held by the Hammock

Every part of it is designed
to receive:
from the slender hooks
threaded to the tree;
to the white ropes

rayed from the eye;
to the wooden crossbeam
like a telephone switchboard
directing calls.

I am held here,
between earth and sky
by the voices of everyone
I’ve ever loved.

I marvel at the calendar of squares
beneath me.
Everything else
has tumbled through these holes

but here I am, too large!
Secure in a net
slung down from heaven.

Closing my eyes,
I listen: air conditioner, truck—
the wind is inaudible
until leaves speak its name.


          for my wife

You tell me
    about snow snakes,
          the layers of trapped

when water flows
    beneath melting snow
         underfoot there’s the

of that narrow space
    crushed against the pavement
        the bridge’s green steel

the Eastery warmth
    of a girl’s yellow dress waves
         in the air an ozone

wind digs its fingers into the backs
    of ducklings, new as
         our ungloved hands

lightly, briskly entwined
    and yes I love you so
         much the icicles

the sidewalk,
    love you so much
         no heaven of

could chill the bones
    of a leaf when the world
         keeps turning like

—Daniel Bachhuber, St. Paul, MN