Four Poems by John Dorroh

soft cartel may 2018

The River House

They want me to move into the river house,
suspended on solid wood pilings twelve feet above the ground,
a living room surrounded by windows, early morning light pouring
into the grand room like a glorious vision of something
you might read in a novel, or an architect’s notebook.
The row of hardwoods across the river – maples and ancient oaks–
filter the first blast of morning rays, a gentle rush of orange-lemon light
arriving in time to illuminate the surface of my porcelain coffee cup.

They want me to give dinner parties with the right pairings
of wine and cheese, chilled shrimp-stuffed snow peas, grilled amberjack,
its sweet, delicate flakes melting on our forks, and no one’s in a hurry.
The people who monopolize the conversation are not there, uninvited,
to tell their never-ending stories to anyone who has a pair of ears.
No one likes a tongue that never quits wagging.

They want me to dance through the night as the owls hoot that it’s time
to go to bed. I might fight the urge to lie down in the coffee-colored water
of the Tombigbee River, to say hello to an alligator as she hunts for a place
under the pier to lay her eggs.

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