Rick Mitchell – three poems

Becoming

I thought all this ended long ago,
the handling, I mean, but maybe not.
He is never more than one step away from her
and with his fingers he combs the blond
ringlets flowing along her shoulder
and cinches the belt that tightens
her narrow waist while they parade
in the hallway between classes.

In the seconds before the door closes, I see
him nod to friends and straighten her
direction to the right place. And when she frees
one arm from the Columbia jacket,
exposing half of her plunging neck line,
he leans forward, whispers sharply in her
ear and she quickly slips the arm back.

When class ends, it all starts over,
the grooming, the guiding,
the unmistakable signs of love.


For Your Own Good

“And stay off the wood pile,” he shouted
while tilting away, the invitation so
strong it felt like drops of moonshine
from a copper pipe.
Barefoot from bottom to top
we balanced across the pile,
split pieces formed like a breast,
St. Peter’s on County Route 214.
Upstairs, our evening throbbed blond and gray
splinters, too many and deep for simple
brushing, as we listened through the cold
air return to the rasp of the whetstone
round the tip of Grandpa’s
jackknife.


The Food Channel

After the first bite
even the powered
sweetness of a donut
runs oily and too heavy.

And the next beer always
seems to whisper whip
after whip of movie-red
licorice.

Savory boarded the last flight
to the sub-continent and now
sits quietly next to the
window and an empty seat.


Over the years, Rick Mitchell has been fortunate enough to find a receptive audience among many editors of magazines across the US. His poems have recently appeared in the Louisville Review, The Pittsburg Quarterly, Skylark and the Cimarron Review. Chiron Review Press published Speaking of Seed and Night, his first book of poetry, and Aldrich Press published Before Every Other Fall in 2014.

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