The Sidewalk Remembers

It is spring,
but the cold sidewalk remebers
its icy white covering.

The sidewalk remembers the seasons, fondly,
as they crack and crumble its surface.
Tiny fault lines, the little cracks,
separate the sentimental sidewalk.

The sidewalk remembers generations,
the scrape of snow shovels,
hopscotch boards, dogs,
water gun fights that give way
to trick or treats.

In the autumn
the sidewalk is warm
from the vanishing summer.

The sidewalk remembers young lovers,
holding hands at the roadside.
Their passions running as hot and cold,
as the temperatures
the sidewalk remembers.

Nichole M. Dulin
original 1996, revised 2016

Rock

Click meets
click.
Ticking away
bar hours
that move
like gentle lovers,
to an ungentle future
in a cold, but
sincerely
told lie.

Time introduces
then time reduces,
the differences,
all in the
pursuit
of more
time.

Pulled together
so tight, so close
they danced
and he chanced.
Time held.

Nichole M. Dulin
~1998

The Train

Train brakes
echo
in a river-run circle
around my world.

Do you hear the train?
Does it wake you as it sweeps
­.. its coal-filled path
…. around the Mon?

…… 49 cars
……….to each
………… engine

Had you noticed?

The ever-present Conrail symbol
.. smiles at me

…. 50 times,
…… 100 times,
………. or more.

Then, at night,
when the train rumbles
through a thick valley fog,
.. do you watch for the train
…. that you can only hear?

Nichole M. Dulin
1995

Flashback Friday: another poem from the past

Pearls

pearls dropping at my feet
piling up
accumulating in little lumps
they ping when they hit
the ground
freshwater pearls
they bump and shift when they roll
each perfect in its imperfection
different origin
different message
hidden in the shiny curves
i see myself
the shiny sparkle that covers
the truth
that bit
that horrid bit of sand
flayed the oyster’s flesh
and now is encased in a
pretty lie
dropped at my feet
as i stand
deep in the middle of
truth and lies

a bit of sand

the shimmering ground
lies all around
these horrid pearls
ruthless, horrid, lying pearls

Nichole M. Dulin

1996

Freshwater_Pearl

Gumball

gumball

He thought the gumball machine was romantic.
Bright colors
spiraling down
to a silver-plate special delivery
behind door number one.

The quarter jammed.
I recommended the store.

But the quarter wasn’t as important
as this,
Another
Failed
Romance.

So I suggested that I could be sweet,
smooth curved, soft, and acquiescent,
and
most significantly,
Temporary.

Nichole M. Dulin

1998

 

Back Then

My grandmother hated snakes.
No,
she loathed them.
Bad memories from the farm,
I guess.

Grandfather.
No, I can’t say he liked snakes.
I never heard him say,
but he liked a good game.

Grandmother left the pet store
stark white and screaming.
One arm raised and flailing,
the other clutching her purse,
like someone had tried to steal it.
She ducked imaginary objects
and begged Grandfather,
“Unlock the car, Chet.”

Grandfather did not comply;
he couldn’t.
Grandfather sat down on the curb,
slapping the concrete with one hand,
and laughed,
sides clutched,
’til his top row of teeth dropped down.

Nichole M. Dulin

1996

snake

No Foes

nearlycandy
Photo courtesy of NearlyCandy Photography

He is coarse and she is smooth,
She’ll watch and think, but never move.
In tender talks, emotion stirs,
He never acts upon his words.

Imagining ignited flame,
The ensured chaos of that game.
They never will, they know the cost,
The world undone in moments lost.

For a beat they stand, their hearts in range,
And make a choice in a moment strange.
Without it said, it’s understood,
To give in now could be no good.

Through winter months, and year to year,
The two will hold that moment dear.
These lives they live are the ones they chose,
Onward as friends to grow no foes.

Nichole M. Dulin

Revised 2015

Throwback Thursday: poems from the past

Sunday, When You’re Gone

Sunday, when you’re gone
I’m quiet all day long.
I move about in silence,
On the edge of the world.
I calculate where you must be by now.
Sunday, when you’re gone
I wake up late.
If your presence was ever drunkening,
This then, must be the hangover.
And when four hours have gone by,
I press my eyes closed
To picture your car
Pulling up before your house
And you climbing out of the car
With just a touch of melancholy
And a smile.
Sunday, when you’re gone.

Nichole M. Dulin