Bemusement

By Bob Brussack

Halfway between the car and the back gate
On one of those antiseptically sharp December nights
When the air huddles, silent,
It occurs to me that the stars,
Were they capable of it,
Might find bemusement
In the tales we retell ourselves
With each new season of dark and cold and snow
To keep at bay the bittersweet truths
We pretend we don’t know.

Gliding

Of all the billions of frames of my life,
Why does the projectionist
Rerun for me so often, unbidden and unpredictably,
A five-second clip, without sound or voice-over,
Of me at eight-or-so,
In the late afternoon of a school day in the spring,
Aboard my red two-wheeler —
Not fire-engine red, but not as dark as burgundy —
With a perfect chrome headlight,
Gliding down the gentle slope of Willets Drive
Past our house,
A breeze on my face and hands,
My soul suspended a few feet above the world?