Two Poems


Divide the bright from the dour,
The hungry heart’s ardor
From the ordinary drab
Doormat, trampled and bound—
Shut the door of the barn,
Unloose the stays of your body,
Open the gate of the yard,
Set out with your word as your bond—
Choose the unbarred road,
Narrow or broad.
Behind you, the bridges will burn.


I Give My Last Professional Talk

and dream that night that I’ve jumped out
of a tall blank building filled with cubicles
of people I know—

I’m watching myself plummeting down
the brown brick walls
to the sand below
from some sideways view
and calling out as I fall,
No, No, I didn’t mean to die!
There are lots of other things
I want to do!

and then the luck
of slowing down,
a soft landing,
a springy jump
sprouting chicken wings, half-fledged
but working well enough
to keep me flying
a foot above the empty beach—
flying, but keeping low.

—Robin Chapman, Madison, WI