Thursday, May 17, 2007


by Laurie Barton

In the ad for your Surf School
your hair flows long
as your strong legs lunge, in hula

In person, you're wearing a grandma
bun, but still you appear
the most powerful being at Wailua Beach.

I'm only the mom
of a teen girl. She begged
for surfing lessons, so I pay

and chat with you:
Philemon's a name in the Bible!
Your dark eyes flash

as I think of New England pomade,
a rainstorm of language, dripped into hymns,
and you say, Philemon-- it don't mean a thing.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Time Share

by Laurie Barton

Paradise sold on the honeymoon-
a holiday pitch, a heartless game

played with a Venezuelan salesman.
He hates us while remembering our names.

$800 a month: a luxury room,
infinity pool. Princeville, Cancun,

Kona or Quintana Roo. French toast,
coconuts, yoga, jacuzzi for two.

By the time we refuse him, our chips are all gone.
Dry strips of turkey attract a big fly.

Skipping the edges of sandwich, so
dizzy, a pattern of plunder.

The two of us kindle the courage to leave
by rubbing our bare legs together.

Sly glances cast at the ocean:
no contract to sign, not a fee.