Poetry for Meri…with Don Intonato

Winter 2021


Always, I would swerve,
the raccoon in the road,
the daredevil rabbit,
the sparrow dive-bombing
into the windshield.

Would I lose my nerve,
a hard turn into the trees,
to save another species not my own?
And you, My Passenger,
what would you have me do?

We know the circle
from a piece of the curve.

So when the thud came,
it is your stunned eyes,
not the deer in the headlights,
My Passenger, I preserve.

Sometimes there is no time to turn,
no time for courage or fear.
It is the little swerves
we make, year after surviving year.



She is wearing the long yellow coat,
stopped in the middle of the sidewalk,
the city passing her on both sides.

New York is a big city,
but the yellow coat is easy to spot
even in a crowd.

Now, three years later,
the holiday rush on Fifth Avenue,
she is standing in front of me in the yellow coat,
the first snow falling on her short, black hair.
And I am surprised how quickly love returns.

“You always find me, “ she says.

“Your yellow coat,” I tell her.

And I wonder,
how many times
can you fall in love again,
or is it just once interrupted.



He wondered
if he told her
he loved her
too often
it would wear
on her,

as if the words
might be
lost in repetition.

He could not
seem to stop.

he looked at her,
he told her
he loved her,
again and
again and

This morning, the owner
of the oyster farm,
dropped at the house
a hundred oysters
for the New Year.

Back from the bakery,
two paper-cup coffees
and a bag of rolls,
he walked into the kitchen
and found her
in a white robe,
the sunlight
through the window
in her yellow hair,

standing at the sink
with the oyster knife,
popping open
the grey oysters,
and sipping them down
one after another,

next to her
a pile of thirty
opened shells.

And he wanted
to tell her,
“I love you,”

“Too much?” he asked.

“Never enough,” she said,
bringing an oyster to her lips.