Two Poems by Claire Caldwell
"Four Short Poems About God" and "Last Semester in Cairo."
Art by Gelrev Ongbico.
Four Short Poems About God
One Easter Sunday, the older boys showed me
the robin’s nest, eggs perfect and pool-blue.
Chocolate, they said. Eat it. The crack
in my smile. The warmth of the red-laced fluid,
something wet and reptile clumping into my palm.
Back then, we lived in a house with snakes
in its walls. Nightly rustlings, flickers
of milk-green in the pantry. I painted
the shadow of a great horned owl
by my bedside. Patron saint, sentinel.
We called the park beneath our apartment
a little wasteland, scraped bare by dog claws
and training wheels. Men brought prayer mats
there at dawn. I longed to scatter them like a stone
splits water. To sink there. To settle in the sand.
I left everything behind but the coffee maker
and two blue button-ups. Sixteen minutes
to fill my travel mug ...