ROBERT LIETZ   

 

 

SUGAR AND MUD 

 

This ain’t the freakin’ autobahn, Clarissa, and

these are not the first, the last of school-spirited

commuters, arriving with that coif, in 1950s leather,

and the song you think, ending in pajamas, never 

going quietly.  But what’s there to make discovering

these under-seeded valuables, except for this tact, 

these conclusions shared, or this sleep there’s no resisting 

when you’re finished, counting into it, in that

living language spent among the classier amigos, those

tiny bits a driver scarcely notices at ninety, a day 

as it is Statewide, enough snow the oddsmen can agree 

we’ve had a little, and this news to focus us, this

sportscaster’s or anchor’s negotiations and complaining,

into the season, say, the day with its faux scheduling,

its sugar and mud surrounding still-standing stalks till April, 

Easter anyway, edging the pond skinned yet, though 

the deer and hawk endorse another kind of privacy, and 

caucuses leave their loose threads hanging as they were, 

so what a deer can see, two deer might fix attention on, 

or a driver sees, sullen with the supper news still subject 

in the morning, the blunders a day extrapolates, brings 

the road crews out, restoring the guard-rail slippery spent 

some two cars on and over, where the curve drops out 

below, and keeps us mum about the vista, about the pivot 

details, the lunches a crew believes well-earned, 

shouldering in for soups they’ll warm their hands around 

and praise the merits of, Lou’s specialties, and 

shreds of snow-mobilers’ lamenting, spoken from stools 

over their bar-snacks and laced hot drinks or lagers.  

So what if the geese concur, pecking what geese will, 

from rows between the coming green and stubble, or 

settling as one to the open water along the route, easing 

themselves afloat, ignoring a broken down mid-nineties 

Bonneville, and the cold’s too much, when half of Ohio 

sees no part of it, and half insists they’ve never felt 

the need for caution, sensing there’s stuff they’ll need 

to cut, and sit and sip and crack their shells 

and tell you. 

 

Robert Lietz’s poems have appeared in numerous journals, including Agni Review, Georgia Review, Missouri Review, Poetry, and Shenandoah, and in eight collections, including The Lindbergh Half-century, Storm Service, and After Business in the West. Lietz enjoys taking, post-processing, and printing photographs, examining the relationship between them and poems he’s exploring.

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