Andrea Potos – Four Poems

Remembering Italy,

       one year later

It is the cappucino
I return to–ring of milk
baked onto porcelain rim of cup–
      (around me–bicycles on cobblestones,
     sheets and towels waving
     from high green shutters)
that bronze-hued center
without bitterness or sweet but
somewhere in the perfection
of the middle.

October Woods

           for Mom

I am walking inside
this illuminated manuscript
each leaf
a burnished message
spelling out
her name.


       “Death is what mothers do alone,
       daughters cannot come along,
       or pause the creaking boat.”
— Sally Nacker. ‘

A small current was all it took
to usher you out, onto that strip of silver light
laid down for you,
the relief of your smile meeting the stars.

I knew I had no say in any of it;
I stand here now, gathering shells
whenever they appear.  I hold them up
to my ears.  On certain days inside their silence
I can hear the echoes of your voice. 

After Thoreau

Let me saunter
here in meadows of
big bluestem,
yellowing sheaves and
in the distance the russet
exuberance of leaves.
I want to just drowse,
eyelids witness
to curtains of gold swaying
from another world
 just here
on the other side
of afternoon hours
wrapping me in crimson, ochre
and my own
ripeness to come.


Author’s Statement on Beauty

These days when I think of beauty, I think of the children’s picture book I keep by my bedside: Miss Rumphius, written and illustrated by the great Barbara Cooney.  This book is a timeless gem that tells the reader, through story,  one of the most important tasks in this lifetime is to contribute something of beauty to the world.  In the case of Miss Rumphius, it was her scattering of lupine seeds wherever she walked, seeds that blossomed into beauty everywhere.  I think of poems in this way, bringing much-needed loveliness and joy into the world.  I hope to be able to do that, at least sometimes. 


Andrea Potos is the author of eight poetry collections, most recently A Stone to Carry Home (Salmon Poetry), and Arrows of Light (Iris Press).  Her poem here “Mothershell” is the title of her new manuscript of poems. You can find her poems widely online and in print.