Evalyn Lee / Poetry 5.2 / Fall, 2017

EVALYN LEE

 

NO BACKUP AT THE APPLE STORE

All my thoughts are on that phone.
My life is on that phone.
And now it’s gone.

I can’t get it back, never again, nothing.
All my thoughts made real.
The phone never worked or synced up.

I am asking you for help.
Yes, I know it’s too late.
Everything that was on it is gone.

I was so busy making music
On my phone,
I didn’t have time…

Now it’s gone.
It wasn’t only data.
It was my life, my song.

BOAT RACE PRACTICE

O, Mr. Blake,
As the doves fly,
At the river’s bend,
The boats race.

Blades lift then
Stroke the swirl
Of eddy, all a shimmer
In the light of rain clouds.

Nothing really moves until
You are locked in,
Mr. Blake, to the pressure
We treasure.

The Southwest train
Trills over Barnes Bridge,
The brick slope below
Is slippery and dank.

What do we do to undo
All our bad habits, Mr. Blake?
What theory should we use
To reset our minds?

A dead daffodil shakes
Beside the fern
Shrouded log, everything
Is wet with green shadows.

Empty chairs
On empty balconies
Sit and wait
For sheets to dry.

New leaves unfurl,
Mr. Blake, like sudden
Umbrellas opening
In the rain.

Why do we ride out
The accidents of our
Lives too ashamed
To say I’m sorry

For my greed, my appetite,
My lack of discipline or faith?
We are anxious
But cannot change direction.

Small moments of certainty
Call out, little motions,
Stop, then, move,
“Let the boat come to you.”

Coaches call on megaphones,
“To change the direction
Of your seat, your blade
Must be in the water.”

But most of us carry on,
Being wrong. We find
It hard to change
Direction without stopping.

We want to win.
The race. The boat
Is away. Wait.
Ready. Change. Go.

 

Evalyn Lee is a former CBS News producer currently living in London with her husband and two children. Over the years, she’s produced television segments for 60 Minutes in New York and the BBC in London. Lee studied English literature both in the U.S. and in England and has had the opportunity to interview writers, including Joseph Brodsky, Seamus Heaney, Dick Francis, and Margaret Atwood, about their work.

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