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Dead Poets

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Poetry By
  Lynn Otto

Published on: 3/20/2013
French Kiss

Go ahead
I've left you
a tiny tuna salad snack
between my teeth
I know
you'd prefer chocolate
but a girl can't live on it

Published on: 3/19/2013
In This Green Green So Blue

In this green green, a hundred shades,
I feel blue, turning
pancakes on the Coleman stove,
fewer than last year,
fewer than the mother in site 22,
visible through vine maples and huckleberries,
spring-green screen too thin.

Yesterday, like the flycatcher overhead she fussed
poor directions to her husband
as he backed a trailer between the ferns and firs,
without consequence.

Since then, her children and their young spouses,
as if ordered from a catalog,
have arrived.

Beautiful, they laugh together
under the pale green streamers of moss
and smile at their mother,
who sings and sets
the rough wood table for ten.

Published on: 3/15/2013

At dusk they wheel out their bikes
in shirt-sleeves, sandals, heads bare

we ask them to return, reconsider
smell the rain on the wind

open a closet of warmth and safety
collected, provided

reflective jackets, helmets, fluorescent vests
appropriate footwear

but they pedal away deaf
with legs too long

certain and uncertain
they must go forward—we can't

span the increasing distance, they won't
look back until they're here.

Published on: 3/14/2013
Leaves, Late October

Some are the burnt orange of Susan Pound's hair,
which is why I envied her in seventh grade,
how she shone, how boys gathered around her
like bees to a bed of chrysanthemums.

Some are the honey color of our wooden desks,
where the passionate declared their love with penknives.
Some are the ruby I wanted my lips to be.
Some the scarlet of embarrassment.

Some are the dark yellow of pencils, or the school bus
that carried me down roads too long to run back,
past the same houses, same yards, same Jack-o-lanterns,
under the same Vs of geese flying ahead of winter.

These colors fall with almost no sound—
a sigh,
      the turn of a page.

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