Two Poems

Fresh Ground Roasted

Mother had it flown into
 the islands by the kilo, said:
 "She couldn't live without that
 fresh ground roasted flavor."
 Boiled water all morning
 steaming up the windows, sat
 drinking it all day and night
 watching the sky changing
 colors over the sea, said,
"That there wasn't anything wrong
 with her nerves that a good
 night's sleep wouldn't cure,"
 as she walked into the kitchen
 for yet another cup, her feet
 slapping against the hard wood
 floor, the smell of hot scorched
 coffee stronger than her never
 ending dreams.


 When the man

who sharpened knives
 came to our door
 my son
 was frightened
 by his wild red hair
 his fire blazing eyes,
 by the way he said
 sharpen your knives
 real cheap"
 and, then,
 the grindstone
 singing in the barnyard

—Alan Catlin, Schenectady, NY