DIANE REYNOLDS, born in Oklahoma, has lived in Michigan, Texas, and New York, where she attended Columbia University's School of the Arts. Her poems have been published in diverse traditional reviews such as The Red River Review, The Southern Poetry Review, The Nantucket Review, The Alaska Quarterly Review, as well as the online journals Cortland Review, In Posse Review, Onyx, and The Blue Fifth Review. She was a guest of the Ucross residency program in 1988 and is currently working for Deloitte Consulting to create training for the Texas TIERS project. She recently began Zarigueya Press, which will publish Judith Harway's chapbook, "The Memory Box," in September 2002. Her hope is to publish more chapbooks as she has the wits and funds.
One of the things I've loved
was writing lists of the things I loved.
I was ten. I kept notebooks
of poems for my father to burn.
I made the lists, knowing
they were standard, impermanent.
Since, I've kept them
to myself. Eventually I've come to wonder
what good it is to love things you cannot hold
or keep, to love the world , in fact,
that will stay when you go
I walk out, trailing
the world's longest list,
each thing that has made my throat ache
and that I have put away, refusing
to number or catalogue it:
the light, the air, the temperature,
the leaf underfoot, a perfect
storybook maple, once,
now litter. I've tried
living simply, giving it all away,
but the things keep coming:
a perfect sky, the light a syrup
promising a new season,
a poet I just discovered,
who passed away last fall.
Some things you keep because
having been gathered, they won't be
used again. An unknown kind of bird
made its nest on the wreath on my front door.
Too good to throw away,
its salvaged twigs and down, I keep it
BILL AND MARY
Bill stood in a fire once and was burned to a nub.
Mary stayed home to raise the children and two Nubian goats.
She ran her treadle so smooth, I thought she must be
spinning silk. Instead, she built them a house
from leftovers, and fed the girls government surplus mayonnaise
while Bill melted in his frame at the VA.
Seven years later, Bill came home
a beautiful pin and white: mother of pearl
and chalk. Mary had gone by then
to Greece, some said, to marry a prince. The girls
had run off with boys who had acne and cars.
The goats still stood like Caesars
on the tin roofs of their shacks,
and a faded Army Surplus parachute flew
its orange silk from the shady side of the house.
Bill was by then a piano merchant, and could tune, they said,
anything. Although he'd left both ears in the fire,
and the skin on his fingers was welded like duck's toes,