Two Poems

J.W. Marshall


War in the wind and
on the ground
                         where the produce grows
on which we sup and from which
we drink. Now
                         the war is in
the pantry
and in the oven
    where bread begins to crust
which we will bring to our lips.
Flags on our laps. Apron hanging.


What do you see?
No that's a cloud.
Dog tied to an overpass guardrail
and a kid
on his own sad tether
asking for money.
No those are clouds.
Those are rocks slightly under water.
And someone leans from
the passenger window of
the car waiting at the red light
and asks him something so
he smiles and goes on explaining
after they've driven off
happy in his dusty situation.
No, that's a reflection
on your windshield.
A song on the radio.

J.W. Marshall

J.W. Marshall co-owns Open Books: A Poem Emporium, a poetry-only bookstore in Seattle, with his wife, Christine Deavel. His poems have appeared in or are forthcoming in Alaska Quarterly, Beloit Poetry Journal, Cranky, Field, LitRag, Poetry, Raven Chronicles and other magazines. Marshall has two chapbooks: Taken With (2005), and Blue Mouth (2001), both published by Wood Works.