Back to Poetry - Margaret Robinson





it lodges

near the palatal ridge


bangs off the teeth

like a sledge


lays down the law

a tough judge


stops traffic with a badge

at a bridge


a curmudgeon who sins

with hot fudge


leaves a chocolate smudge

on the fridge


swats midges

collects buckets of  sludge



for edge, for grudge




What Place Is This?



A colleague offers a lift home after work.

Though I donít like her much, I accept.

Others take seats in her white mini-van.

We donít talk.  Itís a warm afternoon,

sunlight starting to slant, the transition

from right now to later than I thought.


After a short drive, the van stops.  I canít

take you all the way.  I recognize a street

sign, hop out, content.  Strolling beneath

trees, I swing my purse, a red wicker basket

with a hinged top.  Couples eat at sidewalk

cafes.  Chrysanthemums curve in clay pots.


A shaded park above a beach: anywhere

youíve ever sat with friends, or held hands,

or watched the sun sink, the stars come out.

I see children playing.  Waves lap and slip.

Though happy, I notice Iíve lost my purse Ė

the one I took to my grandmotherís funeral -


and Iím not where I thought.  This might be

New York?  I pat a pocket, locate my keys,

need a place with a phone, to make a call,

find a taxi or bus.  A nearby hoagie shop,

only one customer. The apron-wrapped

woman has a kind face.  I watch her spread


mayo, scatter lettuce shreds, so crisply green

I could weep.  Finished, she smiles.  Youíre next.

What would you like?  I say, Iíve lost my purse

and my way.  Is this Manhattan?  Could I use

your phone?  I need to get home to Swarthmore,

Pennsylvania.  I think Ė where on Earth is that?