Saturday, September 29, 2012

Anne Higgins - Two Poems

The Hue of my Shoe
“..scientists at the University of Arizona found, on a sampling of 26 shoes worn by test subjects for three months or longer: bacteria that cause blood infections, urinary tract and wound infections, intestinal tract infections... which the subjects tracked into the carpets and flooring of their homes...”
- Baltimore Sun 5/6/08
 Today with new eyes I viewed
Black rubber on the soles of my shoes
carrying constellations of Klebsiella pneumoniae,
condominiums of pseudomonas luteola,
whole civilizations of E.coli.
The smooth black of my soles
absorbs the other colors:
the hue of robin guano,
squashed earthworm,
powdered mulch,
dust of chlorine and cholera
from all the floors of all the public toilets
of ten years of visiting.
I heard my mother saying that
you had to eat a peck of dirt before you die.

The Cat and the Fireworks
At the first volley of fireworks,
unseen except for flashes
of lightening like light,
the calico cat sprang to alert.
leapt to the windowsill,
retreated under the bed,
then emerged and sprang to the
top of the bureau.
A low growl rumbled from
her belly-
a sound I never heard her make before.
Deep, rolling growl
sound radiating through fur
as she watched from
her patrol post
for the duration of the fireworks.
She became the cat in someone’s bedroom
in London,
on the first night of the Blitz.
She became the cat distracted from catching rats in the church
in Dresden,
as the planes rained down fire and boulders.
She became the cat cowering in the doorway
in Baghdad,
When the Americans bombed Saddam
back to his bunker.
All the cats
in all the arrowstruck, cannonstruck
cities down the centuries,
interrupted, startled,
terrified, growling deep,
feral, innocent,
instincts bristling.
Anne Higgins teaches at Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg Maryland. She has had about a hundred poems published, in Commonweal, Spirituality and Health, theMelic Review, the Centrifugal Eye, and a variety of small magazines. Garrison Keillor has read two of her poems on “The Writers Almanac” – on 10/8/01 and 8/8/10. Five books of her poetry have been published

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