It flits swiftly, not as a shadow,
a soft grey motion ruffling my air,
never expected, recognized always,
a soft flicker, almost but not quite
I think you’ve looked in,
touched me with comfort remembered,
placed a fatherly cloak on my shoulders
to warm them a moment, then left me,
cold and alone, yet not quite as I was.
Luscious moment, pain-free warmth,
engulfed, floating motionless inside the down,
the dream unfinished, waiting for something,
the endless need wanting to be resolved.
There are things that come back in the dark
—only there, the remembered faces, voices,
hands that beckon, impel to do, go, hurry
through hallways to trains (all departing),
to recover what was forgotten, what is essential.
To run, race (the minutes rush ahead)
through uncaring crowds, past eyeless faces,
stumble up known stairs to the locked door
and the children on the other side, unfed,
unclothed, still so small, the girl and the boy,
there, behind the black wall, needing care.
Panic, to the slow fade—the unease lingering
even at the approach of light, when loose shutters
wink with sunbeams promising simple pleasures
like a smile and the coffee aroma that will come
after the first stretch, after the toes, pointing,
have touched the endfold of the down cloud,
after the deep intake of breath, and the exhale
—the daily surprise of morning.
Mountain Lion Kill
The high-pitched bleating pierced the forest night,
and the man, aroused from a deep sleep,
knew without knowing, it was a deer’s scream.
Sliding the glass door, he stepped out on his deck:
through deep darkness, stars and a new moon
silvered pine needles, tips of pampas, grass blades,
while his flashlight stream found the flattened
shrubs and grasses, the path where the killer
had dragged the fresh carcass into brushwood.
In that long moment, man and forest stood frozen
— in stillness and silence absolute.
Marina Romani, child of Russian émigrés, spent the first part of her childhood in wartime and civil-war China; those early years are the focus of Child Interwoven, a memoir in poem and prose she is now assembling. A second ongoing project, tentatively titled Catching Scatters, is a compilation of her latest poems. Marina’s early work appeared in the now defunct Poetry Shell magazine; her recent work has been published in Homestead Review, Porter Gulch Review, and the Tor House Newsletter. Since 2008, Marina’s poems have twice been finalists in the Central Coast Writers’ annual writing contest.