Two Poems

handsome, groomed, nice man
whose smiles call for our sons' lives—


While the others twinkle on, he glowers
nostalgic of the anthropomorphous powers
imputed to him as he seems to scold
unflinchingly, pretend he is a bold

       onetime warrior, now too old
and far away ever to arm himself
again, like an ancestor on the shelf
struck dumb right in the middle of a warning
but trying nonetheless to shout
                         —till morning.
Or as if the blood of all the millennia’s dead
had drained into his urn and turned him red
then lifted him into the nightly sky

for faithful or superstitious passersby
to hallucinate advice we think he brings

until the sun brings myths of brighter things.

—James B. Nicola, New York, NY