Stan Sanvel Rubin‘s fourth full collection, There. Here., was published by Lost Horse Press, his third, Hidden Sequel, won the Barrow Street Press Poetry Prize. Poems in journals including Agni, Georgia Review, Poetry Northwest, Kenyon Review, One, etc. plus two recent anthologies, the 25th Anniversary of Atlanta Review and Nautilus Book Award winner, For Love of Orca. He lives on the northern Olympic Peninsula of Washington state.
The daughter I did not see for years.
The son who still
won’t see me. My heart remembers
the noise of their growing.
Chalk lines on the wall
indicate the passing of love,
a graffiti of failure.
You can relax against that wall
but you never want to turn
and look at it, the record of growth.
See how the half smudged marks
become a ladder of consequence.
An abandoned dog, after years
of giving and getting love,
might understand how hard it is
to control this world.
Around this house, things disappear
for no good reason, disappear
the way you disappeared, not even
in the dead of night, but gone
into the wide afternoon.
Out the door, shazam!
We both were wrong so many times,
I could have mistaken this
for a game, an erotic one
of pursuit and distance like
the young play, or the
degraded old, desperate
for affection they don’t expect
to get again, not without
some special luck or effort,
if there’s a difference.
And they are old enough
not to care if there is. Trust me.