Poems and a children's book excerpt by Marc Harshman
Read about Marc Harshman here.
These are not lucky charms. These
are bits of bone and sinew. Home
from the war, he pressed them into my hand.
I said, "thanks," and he walked away. Far
away he had been. Steep valleys,
hot mountains of war, highs
and the enemy shy. "See,"
he once said on leave, "there
won't be much left of me." I know
that now, holding his hand in mine,
charms are not enough. Prayer
after another. Repeat after each, "Lord,
have mercy, Lord, Lord . . . ."
Names have memories. I wear his now.
Pray them as if he hears.
(Forthcoming in the "Anglican Theological Review")
There may be a million stars
But there is only one sky.
There may be fifty thousand bees
But there is only one hive.
There may be five hundred seeds
But there is only one pumpkin.
[Then the book runs through smaller numbers, 12 to the end, the last 2 stanzas being as follows:]
There may be two ropes
But there is only one swing.
But the best thing of all
Is that there is only one me
And there is only one you.
The opening lines of "Only One" published by Cobblestone/Dutton [division of Penguin USA] in 1993, illustrated by Barbara Garrison.
CHECKING THE SPRING
Up from the house, west, a few hundred feet,
where the ridge hat of poplar, maple,
we force a clutch of bramble,
wild rose and blackberry,
and through them slip
down the hard bank
of pale grasses
to the green stones
by the thin, sure sound
of water, still there, August,
First appeared in "Turning Out the Stones, a chapbook from State Street Press, NY, 1983