Two Poems

Ben Gunsberg


[Table of Contents]
[Editor's Note]


We sit and watch a lone loon bob as Spoon,
drunk, barely able to walk, points his gun
at Superior's autumn gown. A plume
of white trim flits against the glittered sun,
and something he should have missed, a bird,
like broken apple, skips across the lake.
His sister drowned.
                                      We keep our words
in check. An empty boat rocks, its snake-like
rope extending toward the dock, glum
oars hanging limp.
                                      Spoon's shotgun siege
is disregarded, so fully clothed he runs
the red rock driftwood bank, sand and leaves
exploding at his feet. A dive alarms
the dark expanse. How quickly cold disarms him.



Lake Superior's winter eye, candid
as the dead, directs you out the door.
The clouds extend. Shadows pantomime until—
it must be said—oblivion. All you see
is everywhere—white and glare—that lasts
and lasts ... it lasts until the sky erodes
and darkness sends you back to bed. Again,
the wind. Again, your final waking thought
ends with a question mark: By chain, by stair,
by rope, what other words might bring her up?

And then, this dream: you float beneath a sheet
of ice, arm's length from a great blue whale, her hair
pulled back by plastic butterfly barrettes,
both of you smiling—set loose—swimming for broke.



Ben Gunsberg is from Michigan and received his MFA from the University of Alabama. He lives in Vermont.