PoetryIssue 22 | April 2015

Four poems by Christine Potter

Lunch on City Island, Early June

We sat outside. Noon leaked through rain a long way off,
grew quiet and then quieter as light can, even falling
on vinyl palm trees wired with light-up coconuts. Silver,
white, a splash of brown; the Sound was the color of every

gull circling it, and rippled with coming weather. Still wearing
a graduation gown that puffed behind her like a black sail,
a young woman carried a plate piled with fried fish, and sat
at a table near us. You bought me an overfilled plastic glass

of white wine pale as tap water, which turned out to somehow
be delicious, or at least made me notice how richly green
the trees were, how ancient, tangled with each other, and
numerous as the generations of my family whose lives

were spent near this city. Then I was content, even though
not an hour ago, my mother had refused to see her doctor,
had narrowed her eyes at me over taking her pills, but
looked cheerful if confused when I finally left her house. 

So I told you about my friend Zack, who said he’d once
put down the top of his convertible to drive on a huge
blue day to a class reunion, when the brilliance or perhaps
weight of the sky overwhelmed him and he was actually

frightened. It was funny in the telling, but now I know
the truth of such burdens, their unexpected heft. Of course,
he kept going. What choice is there? A quick gust snatched
my napkin, which floated past my hands into the Sound

and dissolved. Calamari, fried shrimp, clouds dull as
chain-link fences. So many apartments across the water,
so many cars lined up on the road. Red and green lights. 
The hush of doctors’ offices. And rain coming, coming rain.

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About the author

Christine Potter has gone back and forth across the US without an airplane more times than she can say. She’s flown, too, but lately she prefers a sleeping car on the train. She’s also partial to three-hour vacations on New York’s City Island (Cape Cod without the Providence, RI traffic), and really needs to get back to Scotland. Read her two books of poetry: Sheltering in Place (2013)  and Zero Degrees at First Light (2006), both available at Christine’s blog.

Read our current issue:

Poetry

Two poems by Anne Babson
Vignette, Townhouse, 9 a.m. by Troy Cunio
Night Becomes Day Over the West by Megan Foley
Yukon River Aurora by D. B. Goman
Two Poems by David Havird
Cretan Love Letter by Emily Linstrom
Holland by Rick Mullin
Fear in Kenya by Kristina Pfleegor
The Lounge Lizard by Ed Shacklee
Two Poems by Sarah J. Sloat
Night Flight by Vicki Stannard
Koinonia Farms by Alina Stefanescu
Thessaloniki, Four a.m. by Anastasia Vassos
Imaginary Oceans by Jason Warren
Two Poems by F. J. Williams

Postcard prose

It’s Salty by Kelly Hill

Travel notes

Anchorage in the Great Land by Karen Benning
The Value of Small Money by Megan Hallinan
Screensaver by Sandra Larson
Thirty Cents by Tommy McAree
Gokarna by Kate McCahill
Going Places by Rachel Miller-Howard
Susanville CA: Notes From The Road by Susan Volchok