"Poems, Part 1" by Dora Moscatello
Into the Arthritis Pool
I stand in the pool at the JCC with my arms spread out across
the concrete walls.
I watch the fragile, timid bodies file down the ladder steps
like transparent silver dollar plants who are prisoners on a chain gang . . .
Do we seek our own river Lethe? A watery path through river Acheron, perhaps
finally arriving at the stream of Okeanos in Elysium . . .
Movement more painless in the warm water
and shared pleasantries.
The real question in my brain is, “how many more times will you be able to come into the pool?”
Or, “which of you will feel your wings beating faster and faster,
until you are lifted from your chrysalis being into a butterfly angel of no weight?”
What do we all expect? To arise from the water
as jubilant children in a lake?
To have one more go-round? To feel no pain? To dance in the rain?
Maybe only a fleeting respite from reality.
Ever sad season.
The tree outside my window
Brushes in the wind against the house
To confirm that it still holds life in its dark belly
Although its arms look dead
It whispers with gathering boldness
To call my attention
It moves with balletic grace and shakes off
No longer necessary pink and russet scales
Mourning its recent verdure.
After the wind and the shedding and the rains
It waits still and patiently
For the winter that is coming.
Changing in a constant rhythm
Inside and out
This tree is life
This tree is me.
Nature bears us up
Yet sadly we tamp her down.
Our quest for more, more.
Sea grass bends to the sand and prays,
Pines nearly pay the same homage.
A thousand greens and blues and grays swirl
To make up the rainbow I will take home in my soul.
The bright green omnibus passes without noise through
On its winding way to who knows where.
I rode for a time, but all the stops I
planned on making
were already filled.
The conductor looks familiar but I can’t
recognize his face.
And all the faces I have known are
passengers on the bus.
They get on and off, never seeming to need
I am trying desperately to get off at
the next green spot.
It’s my garden of Eden.
Although originally from Appalachia, DORA MOSCATELLO currently enjoys living in Swisshelm Park and has lived in Pittsburgh for decades. She spent her professional career serving in the scientific publishing industry, after earning her Master’s degree in Literary Studies from Carnegie Mellon University. In undergraduate studies, she concentrated on Spanish and Ancient Greek. Her poetic heroes, from whom she has taken inspiration and influence, are Robert Frost, Emily Dickinson, Edna St.Vincent Millay, and Robert Browning. Dora has been a life-long poet and artist, expressing the beauty of life as she sees it through her works.