TWO POEMS by Marcia Roberts

by Marcia Roberts

Pipe Lilies Pop Up After Rain


along the pathway through live oak
and cedar trees…..ant trails lead
to dead cicadas and worms

I look for lichen-covered twigs
and a piece of prickly pear
to dry and paint on canvas


Dear God
are you a woman
hard to picture after all the years
of otherwise…..but if it’s true
I’ll buy it


Dear Victims of Orlando

this mountain is for you… darlings
golden tops and red rock to ease your way
up from Orlando to the next station

use crevices to climb where fragments hide


today the gastro doc removed a five-peso coin
from Hannah’s stomach…..I cry for the child
who has anxiety…..I cry because I am a grandmother
and grandmothers cry frequently…..whether tears come or not


Dear God (Woman) I wake realizing the dark side
of mother lives in me and it’s been there more of late


someone saw another coral snake nearby
a rattler once crossed the neighbor’s walkway

fire ants bite my leg…..the car’s gas tank is empty
(Mike asks if I know what causes that)

in the morning we find tiny remains of
some animal on the back door mat

Len carries the mess to the trash can….cleans
with Clorox…..washes the mat with rain

snout-nosed butterflies linger on their way south
the woman asks…..what are those bugs

will they harm anything…..God (also Woman)
must be saying….just watch their drab beauty

Hannah Finds a Lime in Our Yard

where no lime trees grow…..we toss
it between her fit-running form and
our out-of-date shapes…..we take

Mexican Sage plants out
purple blooms..wrangly
stems hide…..last year’s

leaves…..take them out
put in flagstones line
with variegated liriope for

Hannah to play pirates…..jump
from stone to stone…..hide treasure
amid drought-resistant plants

home to lizards…..scolding wrens
hummingbirds and large pots
for dropping …..leaves

stones….pieces of grass
to make her caldron brew
under the Chinese Pistache

turning golden….leaves
covering grass…..God (as Woman)
I may falter…..after seventy years

of bargaining with you… live
a little longer… see Mike
get permanent teeth

look out the window at the stones
leading to Star Jasmine
where the dog barks
……………………….on the other side

Marcia Roberts, originally from South Dakota, has lived many places, including Madrid, Spain; Washington, D.C.; and San Francisco. She now resides in San Antonio, TX, with her husband Len about five houses away from her granddaughter Hannah. Marcia holds a master’s degree in English and Spanish, and she studied Poetics at New College of California. Her chapbooks include Open Eye (Skanky Possum Press), Autumn’s Slant and In the Bird’s Breath (Effing Press), and What She Knows (BlazeVox Books).

Hear Marcia’s poem and more virtual poetry from Cleaver on our SoundCloud podcast On The Edge.




Image credit: Ian Baldwin on Unsplash


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