Liz Grisaru

Three Poems – Liz Grisaru

Walking to the Cove

Or with/without you, all will be the same:
this road and I will wind to water’s edge
past the jealous rooster creeping by the hedge,
the nervous hens, the butting goat untamed,
the spot where grass concedes the water’s claim
and salt-white stones and sprigs of sedge
give way to blue flecks on the pebbled ridge,
where the beach opens wide to make a frame.
Or with/without you, there will still be shade
across the road from the mailbox post
where other box-holders will stop to trade
in news and views. Like yours, a hundred ghosts
unseen, unnamed, will loiter unafraid
to walk here where they are wanted most.


Prose Poem I

To answer you, I say my season is yellow leaves. It is the time when the choir of leafblowers and power lines hums in a minor third above my head, above the street. To answer you, I say my season is traveling far and alone. After hours in the air, I come to a river, and a bridge over it. Great towers in blue stone hold it up and keep safe the multitudes that race from bank to bank. The wind plays with my face, works into my scarf, and springs away to stir the surface of the black water. When I turn from the wind, the moon over my shoulder surprises me. To answer you, I say my season is the cat waiting at the door. I let him in; we disdain the dark. Night smoke, cold, the smell of clove, is buried deep at the roots of his fur. He carries it with him upstairs to my bed.


Once I Took Some Pebbles

Sonnet after Diane Seuss “Once, I took a Greyhound”

Once, I took some pebbles from a beach, spotted them
in the ash-black sand as I hauled myself against the wind,
the sand so grainy it stung my feet, like the volcano’s heat
that made the sand, staggering on my toes trying to stay
in the ruts left by the pick up truck that was cruising the beach
because walking in the tracks gave my feet relief;
I came upon them, a puddle of stones swept up
like a sandbar that rises from the water, sandbar of stones,
no one stopping there, egg-sized and smaller, shiny wet,
my found city grown where tide and sand left room.
The stones were at once lumpy, surface-smooth, and cool.
They made me pause and bend to see what the sea had made
on the black stinging sand; looking closer, I got lost
in the wetness and the colors, took four, and went away.


Liz Grisaru works for New York State government in renewable energy policy and is based in Albany, New York, the State capital. She grew up and went to college in Boston, Massachusetts, and lived in Brooklyn for fifteen years before moving upstate, where she and her wife raised two children who are now young adults. She had a several-decade hiatus in writing as she pursued a career and family life but lately has been drawn back to poetry as both a reader and a writer. She holds a BA in History and Literature, a JD, and an LL.M.

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