Friday, September 19, 2008


Since you asked, I’ll tell you why
Blueberries remind me of Sophia Loren.

It’s because I was young once — in Maine
In summer — and worked a Tabbutt rake
Through sequins of low bush dew until
The sun made me think of a dark-haired girl
In a white apron with a baby crooked in one arm
Her free hand sweeping damp hair
From her forehead — and I wanted to nurture.

That summer I filled many bushels and collected my pay.
And something fell to earth and something blew away.

© 2008 Jeffrey Roberts

Face Value

I spent fifteen uncomfortable minutes
On the hopper in a unisex bathroom
Under a photograph captioned Lou Reed
And Laurie Anderson at the Hominy Grill.
Its thousand words — all questions.

Whose fifteen minutes were they?
Mine? The chef’s? Lou and Laurie
Had theirs. (One expects the blank
Stare from Lou.) What does Laurie find
So amusing? My modesty? Shrimp

And grits for breakfast? Waking up
In South Carolina? What are they doing
In Charleston? Did they get soaked
Like me — walking up Meeting
Down Calhoun — right on Rutledge?

Answers don’t come and—of course
A picture doesn’t prove a thing
These days. Who can trust the eyes
Of a velvet Jesus? What miracle
Earned this space in such a chapel?

© 2008 Jeffrey Roberts