Robert Pelgrift is an editor for a legal publisher, working in New York City. His poems have been published in various anthologies and in The Lyric, Rotary Dial, The Galway Review, The Foxglove Journal, The Waggle, Long Island Quarterly, The Eclectic Muse, Trinacria, Now Then Manchester and Blue Unicorn.
The Snow Withdraws
There’s just a hint of warmth, the snow’s withdrawn
along the road, and now a tiny flow
down the road turns, then runs across the lawn,
in a thin stream whose shores push back the snow;
around each stem and stone, it feels its way
to low pools ribbed by tree roots; and wet black
earth appears where the snow has pulled away
from the pools and the narrow winding track
made by the stream. And in the lawn, a stem
or leaf thaws the snow, and green patches show
through, scattered at first, but soon each of them
joins another, intruding on the snow;
and then the snowy white islands are seen
to disappear beneath a sea of green.
The lights are all on in this room tonight,
and if one just looks around, one can see
that every part of the room’s filled with light;
so, with a quick glance, one can easily
look in every corner and be assured
that everything’s familiar, so the night
holds no fear of unseen beings obscured
in shadows – just as if it were daylight.
But if candles were all we had to light
the corners, how ghostly shapes would appear,
flickering on walls, ceiling and shades drawn
against the night. And think what gods we might
create, and how we’d worship them for fear
of everything they might do before dawn.
Life Was Short
Then life was short, the far horizon near;
the young died young, from any injury
or common illness, so one had to fear
them all, because there was no remedy.
So, back then, just a few years was the span
of life; perhaps endeavor was in vain;
so, it might have been well for one to plan
more for the next world, less for the profane.
Now, infection and illness can be cured,
sometimes prevented, by drugs or vaccine,
and earthly matters seem to have more worth,
when an early end to life’s less assured;
and since then, it seems that our plans have been
less for the next life, more for life on earth.