Two Poems

By John M. Heavey

Furcula


Furcula or “little fork” the Etruscans called them,
these wishbones in a zip-lock in the junk drawer
from Thanksgivings long gobbled away.
All those unwishes waiting to be wished with a two-finger tug.
An Etruscan priest wouldn’t dream of snapping a furcula in two.
I can see him overlooking the Ligurian Sea, stroking the furcula
and chanting to Neptune for his son’s safe passage home
from a trading voyage to Alexandria.
Here I stand on the harbor shore, wishbone in hand,
No Neptune to invoke, but a God who doesn’t go for good-luck tokens.
Heed the Etruscan lead; embrace the lucky fork.
Dangle it from rearview mirrors.
May it hang from necks and lie tucked under pillows.
Broken or stroked, an amulet for these forked times.

2021


This feather-light, pleated mask,
blue as a summer day,
familiar as underwear,
could be a parasail for crickets,
a beach cabana for mice.
Or on a warm summer eve just past dusk,
we could all gather
with our masks rigged as Chinese lanterns,
light the candles, send our masks aloft
to drift as glowing lumens, sunrise-orange,
rising, farther out, ever distant,
stars bespeckling our nights.

I have been an English teacher for 45 years and have a long-standing love and passion for poetry.

At Tabor Academy, where I’ve taught for the past 27 years, I have started both a poetry club and a regular poetry podcast.

The first poem, “Furcula,” was inspired by finding a baggie of old Thanksgiving turkey wishbones in

A junk door.  The second poem, “2021,” well, is a whimsical meditation about uses for our masks when we no longer need them.

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Preeti
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Preeti
3 months ago

Nice poem. It seems magical towards the end and I like the Chinese lantern description.

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