Poetry Drawer: Three Poems by Karen Wolf

Cathy Across the Table

My best friend scoots
into the restaurant bundled
against cold spring air. We search
the chalk board and waitin’ line. We
should get a cupcake to
mark the occasion, she says, about
to move 300 miles south
of the Arctic Circle. We toast
our friendship with bowls
of lentil soup, her eyes
sparkle with girlhood
surprise at our window table when I hand
her an afghan I crocheted to warm
Alaskan nights. April showers
pound the glass calling
up our sunlit kayak trip that ended
rain-swamped and overturned. We laugh
and slurp our memories. I want
to make this last and sidestep
good-byes. Tomorrow, Cathy
will leave and despite
promises, our connection will
cease in a relationship
void of commitment.

Lesson Learned

Below a window-framed parking
lot, beside a cushioned time-out
chair, a gray bucket hosts
rock weapons. Six-year olds,
desperate for food, fresh air, try
to stare the classroom clock
into warp

speed. Ms Thompson
hoists the rock bucket
onto her desk, holds
forth active shooter defense strategy. Suzy

reaches for the teddy
bear hidden in her desk, while Jeremy
sucks his thumb and Nicholas imagines finger
painting his rock, before Jane says, My
Mommy won’t let me throw rocks. The lunch bell rings.

Jeremy grabs the newly
vacant swing, as an older boy
pushes him aside, to climb
skyward. Jeremy
fires a rock at the blonde
airborne head.


In a cobwebbed corner of my mind, it hides before
stepping out in top hat and tails
for a carriage ride across the city, proceeds
to the homeless,
on the Society Page, it

dons a pink
tee-shirt, race number, raising
cash for breast cancer, finishing
time splashed
across Facebook. It

donates to a wildlife society, covets
polar bear gift socks under
my slippers. In

the forefront of my mind, it
sometimes dances, in silent satisfaction
helping a neighbour with
trash, listening to
a co-worker, making
an afghan for a homeless woman.

Inky Interview Special: Poet Karen Wolf from Bowling Green, Ohio

Poetry Drawer: Who She is Not by Karen Wolf

Poetry Drawer: Claustrophobia by Karen Wolf

Leave a Reply