It is a Struggle, but Lilacs Continue to Bloom
The trouble is writers are too literary.
Yes, but it’s also true that writers
often aren’t literary enough, and you can see
where this leaves me: no camp to call home.
But I press on, content like Walt to showcase
the ample contradictions of my contradictions:
loving the world, hating the world, the sun
and moon, justice and peace huddled together
on a park bench in the cold, yet beaming.
Look for me by the poetry books on your shelves
or stacked up in the corner: I’ll be there.
Bringing it All Along
Sometimes I think I know everything, a genius.
Sometimes I think I don’t know anything, a dunce
and I’ve spent much of my life trying to reconcile the two.
I fear the latter is truer than the former, but I go out into
the world prepared for whatever happens, often surviving
in the space between both. Not too long ago my wife said
“Will the genius take out the garbage” with affection
and forbearance in her voice and I did, sliding the two bags
down the chute—oh this life the way it vanishes yet persists.
The City Cheers on the Hard Hats
Convinced as they trickle in to the worksites
it means the metropolis will be all the way back soon.
Sparrows zip around the building cranes
and birdsong competes again with the noise of pumps.
A man steps out of a brownstone and believes
he’s in a new world, that is: the one he remembers
not so long ago. A woman on the opposite sidewalk
calls to him and waves. “You look beautiful,” he says,
waving with purpose, almost on his toes as if dancing.
When the City Returns
I’ll walk its length and breadth,
carrying flowers and a book,
wearing my heart on my sleeve
after months of neglect. Dispensations
blaze from memory, buildings
and streets glad to have me back,
some people too, I hope. I’ll linger
on the main boulevard, in awe,
as if being there for the first time.
Tim Suermondt’s sixth full-length book of poems, A Doughnut And The Great Beauty Of The World will be forthcoming from MadHat Press in 2021. He has published in Poetry, Ploughshares, Prairie Schooner, The Georgia Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Stand Magazine, December Magazine, On the Seawall, Poet Lore and Plume, among many others. He lives in Cambridge (MA) with his wife, the poet Pui Ying Wong.