Matt Tordoff / Poetry/ Spring, 2016




When the dykes
pinned backed the waters,
creating new lands
on the Zuiderzee,
the old men started out,
in wonder first, then idle
back and forth, wringing
their wrists, grinding
their teeth, slipping
insane, unable to accept
the new flatness of the land.

In younger days their toes
touched the sea.  It engaged
them in quiet counsel, speaking
though neaps and risings,
a dialogue now broken
with windmills and with walls.

Their sons would farm
these new fields,
growing soups and stews
of carrot and turnip, tulips
for their lovers;
but that promise brought
no solace for the old men,
the memory of their past
romances purloined by
the removal of the tides.

Now, I hear their echoes
in a little café
along the Zilverparkkade
where diners clatter, shift
knives and shakers, plot
to rearrange their landscapes.
I see them in the waiter’s face
as he delivers bitterballen
and an Amstel to my table.
He asks if I am ok,
if anything is missing.
I grab a half- empty bottle,
place it to his ear, ask him
to listen to the roar.


indexMatt Tordoff was born in South Dakota and raised in Minnesota.  He currently lives in England.   He has been writing for a number of years and his work has most recently appeared in Midwestern Gothic, Think, and Tar River Poetry.  Matt has been recently nominated for a Pushcart Award

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