2 Poems by Wayne Lee

A Walk with My Mother

We fall into an easy rhythm, she and I,
strolling slow enough to notice which wildflowers
are in bloom, which songbirds are mating,
which neighbors have put in wheat.
I tell her what new words the girls have learned,
what the latest CAT scan means for Alice.
Mom sighs and says she misses life on Earth.

The Knowledge of Innocence and Experience

Each day I learn something I’d rather forget.
At least you’re learning, you say.

Last night I was attacked by a giant mantis
with crawfish pincers and a head like a thistle
in bloom. A brown recluse crouched on its back.

It’s just a dream, it will go away, you say.
Lay your head down, here on my chest.

But I must rise to write it down. I dare not forget
what I’d rather not know.

Come back to bed, you say. I’ll keep you
from the cold.

There are monsters in my head, in the world,
but I know I’m not afraid. A proffered breast
awaits me, soft as mounded earth.

Here, you say, take it like a baby. Like a man.

Wayne Lee (wayneleepoet.com) lives in Santa Fe, NM. Lee’s poems have appeared in Pontoon, Tupelo Press, The New Mexico Poetry Review, Slipstream and other journals and anthologies. He was awarded the 2012 Fischer Prize and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and three Best of the Net Awards. His collection The Underside of Light was a finalist for the 2014 New Mexico/Arizona Book Award. He is currently working on a memoir and a full-length collection of septets.