Lucia Cherciu: 3 poems

You Missed the Bus

Blaming your mother 
is like blaming the bus driver
for the frost.  

Shopping online for a perfect black dress
is harder than online dating.

Salute to the women who drive a van 
across the country
with the pieces they wanted after the funeral. 

In an online group about gray hair
someone asks if ears and noses grow bigger.

Stop looking in the mirror. 
Stop carrying a mirror in your purse. 
Stop carrying a purse. 

In her eighties, one of my friends
sent back some of the gifts 
I sent to her over the years.

A grandfather clock is worse
than insomnia: 

a snake, wasted time
curled inside, waits to strike,
its venomous bite poisoning the morning.

Keep the clock; 
give me the earrings. 

Your mother catches a glimpse of you 
every time you look in the mirror.

Today I Refuse to Read My E-mail

A poem is a letter sent over the grave;
the heirs would have preferred gold.

Making compost out of doubt,
denial, drudgery. 

Did the rosemary miraculously 
survive winter?

Laziness gossips, hibernates. 
I dabble in enthusiasm. 

Listen to the lithe rhythm of rumor,
the lilt of guilt. 

Go where invited. If asked 
to go to Colorado, get on the plane.

Buy the books. Accept the paintings. 
Take the risk. Go home.

How many scarves 
do you own? Why?

Listen, you are already here: 
you might as well laugh;

you might as well speak up. 
Do caryatids get osteoporosis?

Envy: the best part of the house 
is the window.

What are your top ten regrets?
It’s all right. Go to sleep.

If sleep is so sweet, 
why am I so afraid of dying?


All those cups of coffee
I should have drunk 
with my mother, 

all those orchards
I should have walked through 
with my father. 

Send some money home.

Lucia Cherciu writes both in English and in Romanian and is the author of five books of poetry, including “Train Ride to Bucharest” (Sheep Meadow Press), a winner of the Eugene Paul Nassar Poetry Prize. She is the 2021-2022 Dutchess County Poet Laureate, and her work was nominated three times for a Pushcart Prize and twice for Best of the Net. She teaches English at SUNY/Dutchess Community College. Her web page is

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