C. Ann Kodra – Two Poems


When I Tell Her of My Impending Divorce

my grandmother
says to me, Well

your grandfather and I never argued
over anything
but cattle.
I wanted them;
he didn’t.

This, with a sparkle of tears
underlining dark lashes.

What I Remember Is One Thing

but what my heart remembers
is sunlight shivering on the skin of river,
a field of horses flowing along its banks.
I remember the road dividing
my grandmother’s house from ours,
and the flagstone walk my father laid,
slab by heavy slab, leading to
our front porch door.

My heart remembers my mother’s lap
as she read Br’er Rabbit and Bluebeard
in our postage-stamp front room,
and my father’s careless whistle rising
from the damp, disheveled cellar where
he repaired the hot-water pipes.

I remember the long climb upstairs
to my bedroom, the closet at the end
of the hall where something perilous
must be hidden, and their voices
rising like shrill gulls in the middle
of night, doors slamming, glass breaking
on the stones of earlier silence.

But my heart remembers my father’s
graveled tones blending with distant
thunder as he led us in singing “Old Shep”
before the storm broke. My heart remembers
the harmless heat lightning ushering in
a train whistle off to the north,
the hushed chorus of three, huddled
and safe, on their marriage bed.


Author’s Statement on Beauty

I  know  beauty, in a moment’s exposure, through any of my five senses, but my pen struggles regularly toward the definition. The perfect sentence or poetic phrase, the quintessential image, the exact tone—always so close but elusive. It’s possible that beauty defies words, that we can never define it in syllables. It could be the one truth with no ulterior motive, free of the dragging, clanking chains of syntax. No politician’s smile, no price tag, no judgment, no vow. Maybe beauty can be found in the absolute absence of our chattering monkey minds, the inner silence that comes with taking in an essence without the usual filters, without evaluation, with nothing but openness and awe. Beauty might be an exquisite mathematical equation: the sum of sorrow and love, or its quotient. It could be the music of the Universe that shapes itself into the notes of everything we experience—terrifying, lulling, devastating, joyous. Beauty could simply be the gift that one hand gives and another receives, both reaching toward the same heart.

C. Ann Kodra works as an independent editor in Knoxville, TN. Her poetry has appeared in Blueline, drafthorse, Now & Then, RHINO, Yemassee, and others. She is a contributing editor for New Millennium Writings and an associate editor for MSI Press. Her first poetry collection, Under an Adirondack Moon, is scheduled to be released by Iris Press in late 2017. More at: cathy-kodra.com.