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 prose have been published widely including in The Sun, Calyx, Prairie Schooner andYankee. She received fellowships from the NH Arts Council and Vermont Studio Center and has been nominated for Best of the Net and Pushcart Prizes. Her book The Truth About Death won the NH Readers’ Choice Award for Outstanding Work of Poetry. She has been deeply involved in the movement to end violence against women for over 35 years, and is currently working on a memoir. She blogs at www.gracemattern.com.