Poetry Drawer: Turnover: Foliage Tour by Robert Demaree


1) Friday

When we first came to Golden Pines,
Embarking on a ritual of friendship,
The seafood buffet:
Tilapia, raw shrimp, thawed, still cold.
I told Frank that we would not be
The youngest people here for long.
So twelve years later
We sustain the ritual
As best we can,
Walkers parked along the wall.
Tilapia, raw shrimp, thawed, still cold.
I tell Frank there are people here
I’ve never seen before.
Turnover, he replies.

2) Sunday

On All Saints Day we listen to
A modern requiem: Kyrie, Sanctus,
Harp, tympani,
Melodies, harmonies serene, ethereal,
The composer not himself a man of faith.
We hear read the names of the departed:
The choir recesses to Sine Nomine,
For all thy saints…
Harp, tympani.
I do not weep at Christmas or Easter
But weep today:
Harp, tympani:
Requiem aeternam dona eis,

Foliage Tour

October: it is the day of the tour buses,
But the Foliage Coordinator
Has let us down:
Where reds and golds should
Spread, a colour wheel across the hills,
Instead, you see here a maple
Partly turned, partly bare,
An oak mostly green,
And a beech that mousey past-peak
Yellow brown.
Says it has to do with
Misapplications of warmth and water.
No matter. Waves of buses
Roll on, each with its cargo
Of greying leaf-peepers,
Name tags around their necks,
Cell phone cameras poised,
But glumly suspecting that
They have come the wrong week.
The Foliage Coordinator acknowledges
That some years are better than others, but
The Chamber of Commerce is
Loath to call Him out.

Robert Demaree is the author of four book-length collections of poems, including Other Ladderspublished in 2017 by Beech River Books. His poems have received first place in competitions sponsored by the Poetry Society of New Hampshire and the Burlington Writers Club. He is a retired school administrator with ties to North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. Bob’s poems have appeared in over 150 periodicals including Cold Mountain Review and Louisville Review.

Leave a Reply