Janet Lacey McCann: 2 poems

Photo by Rene Böhmer on Unsplash


I wonder if the trees mind being
Forced to wear these tortured forms,

A box, a sphere, a corkscrew,
Along a perfect path of white gravel.

Do they dream of rogue branches
Poking out between trim tailored ones,

Grabbing the butts of tourists
Who stroll by with Pepsi cans?

Do they dream of woods swallowing
The castle, the kiosk, the refreshment stand,

Of a healed earth, all its conflicts gone,
Its nasty fiefdoms, under a green blanket?


A flash and the tube light darkens.
I sit at the table, perplexed.
Is it the tube itself, or perhaps
The current up there.  The fan
Does not work either.  I sigh,

Find two lamps in the dusty garage,
Brush off spiderwebs and bugs.
The old bulbs glow when I plug in
The cords, and two golden circles
Intersect on my desk.  I like this light.

It is mandorla, the eye of the soul,.
Mandorla, almond, the shape of the
Shared space.  Or is it Vesica Piscis,
The fish in the overlap, from Euclid,
Sacred geometry taken by Christians,

Or two young lovers walking in the rain,
Side by side, under their umbrellas?
Or maybe just part of a Venn diagram,
Waiting for the third circle,
The one which will clarify everything.

Journals publishing Janet McCann’s work include KANSAS QUARTERLY, PARNASSUS, NIMROD, SOU’WESTER, AMERICA,  CHRISTIAN CENTURY, CHRISTIANITY AND LITERATURE, NEW YORK QUARTERLY, TENDRIL, and others. A 1989 NEA Creative Writing Fellowship winner, she taught at Texas A & M University from 1969-2016, is now Professor Emerita. Most recent poetry collection: THE CRONE AT THE CASINO (Lamar University Press,  2014).


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