|Chagrin River Review||
The Tappan Zee
Blue broken bluer by the tint
of windshield and sunglasses
a river of trees, leaves waving
hands along the parkway.
Outside this cockpit of cooled air
and road hum sun sharpens
the day, our hope for a clear
bridge as we cross wide water,
the next state a steep bank ahead.
We move fast, beating our own
time and age as generations
unpeel caring and caretaking
in the same bed which is two
beds pushed together
in the room where we’ll sleep,
a tight crack between us.
Horses come to the railing. Your hand
reaches to trace white fur ruffled
along a nose, my hand smooths
a mane, you stroke an ear, our hands
fondle muted light on broad shoulders,
sun-silk as warm on our necks
as our breath when we call each other
to the fence, our skill with the familiar
boundary, how we gather the long
gallop in each other. The horses turn
from us to race across grass crushed
to dust, through an open gate.
Grace Mattern's poetry and short fiction have been published in numerous literary journals and magazines, including Calyx, Prairie Schooner, The Sun, Poet Lore, Cider Press Review and Yankee. She has received fellowships from the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts and Vermont Studio Center and has published two books of poetry, Fever of Unknown Origin (Oyster River Press, 2002) and The Truth About Death (Turning Point Books, 2012), which received the Readers' Choice NH Literary Award for Outstanding Book of Poetry.