Introducing … Amy Dengler
Amy has been a member of the Massachusetts State Poetry Society for many years. A resident of Gloucester, she has won many awards through the years. She has read at the North Shore Poets’ Forum National Poetry Month celebration in April many times, and I have personally had the pleasure of participating in the same Round Robin with Amy through the years.
Her book, “Between Leap and Landing,” states that she grew up in Rochester, New York, and at the age of 7 had decided she would do three things: work for a newspaper, be an airline flight attendant, and write a book. She has done all three. We hope she keeps writing her wonderful poems and shares them with us.
Driving To Rochester
by Amy Dengler
There are no eagles along the Thruway
so I measure miles in red-tailed hawks:
four hundred miles, eleven hawks.
White-bibbed, they perch in dead trees
scanning for slow mice and sleek rabbits.
They see everything.
The sun is low when I arrive.
My mother’s apartment is half the size
of the house where I grew us. She is smaller, too.
The able hands that bathed those slippery babies
shake, skin thinned to brown spots and blue veins.
From the flowered sofa I watch her
shuffle grocery slips, clipped together
like something worth saving. The oak table
where we ate oatmeal and talked and read
is steady as ever under stacks of last week’s news
and notebooks stuffed with receipts and cipherings.
She suffers from doing and redoing
counting and recounting
checking and rechecking.
She is the slow mouse.
Watering the Lavender at Sunset
by Amy Dengler
This could be Provence:
lush purple spilling over the front steps
bees stunned by the fragrance
a seabreeze stirring the black-eyed Susans.
The harbor this afternoon was bobbing with vessels.
We bought fish and fixed supper in the yard,
the tablecloth luffing up
before we moored it with silver and plates.
When the sky opened we stayed put, watched
the haddock swim again on the platter
the wineglasses fill with rain
the candles sputter out.
Lavender anchors me here,
so too a freshening breeze,
slack lines singing in the boatyards.
Tomorrow, all the ceremonies will be the same:
first light, cast off, mug-up,
saltwater lapping enameld bulk, seamusic
as essential as air.
This is the last poem in Amy’s book, “Between Leap and Landing,” published by Folly Cove Books.
What I Know Now
by Amy Dengler
So fervent was my faith
in saints and miracles
that at twelve I was astonished
to have witnessed neither.
Gradually I gave up on guardian angels,
those white wings hovering between me and misfortune,
and traded them for fairy tales.
I was enchanted by Cinderella,
Snow White and every other
girl receiving just reward
for scrubbing floors
and following the rules.
Every princess in the tower
or lost in the forest
will come to know
the way to the castle lies not
in the clear glass of slippers
Halos are only hats
and happily ever after
is not so much endless shimmer
as the occasional lightning bug.