Two Poems

by Richard Stuecker

The Uncertainty Principle

Today I awaken in my own bed,
At first alarmed, then relieved,
In the window across the room
A forsynthia bush exploding
Yellow buds filling the glass panes. .

Yesterday,
I was confined within metal
fall bars, arm punctured with needles,
everything an inch out of reach:
my nurse’s call button.
A white brigade, confounded by
a microbe they cannot name.
blocked a vibrant, flaming bouquet,
nervous that over time they cannot
cure my end stage disease.

Later, when I revive enough to drive
I plan to bring my aging mother
brilliant flowers, positioning
them at the center of her window,
blocking her view overlooking
Saint Michael’s where crocuses
spring forth randomly about stones
while bursting forsythia and dogwoods
draw the eye skyward, where robins
are nesting in the forks of ash trees.

Assumption Day

Regret and reminiscence float over dense August
like camel-forming clouds, until a crisp day
silences the season with a killing frost.
Sucking into my lungs molds,
the death of flowering weeds—
my dusty garden droops
untended for weeks beyond the wooden deck rail—
weather, cool as the Cape in June,
draws me out for a supermarket croissant,
a cup of Keurig Italian Bold, cool
enough to consider a cigarette, deny
the pleasure and embrace the caffeine.
I taste a bitter coffee,
mosquitoes nibbling at my sock tops,
wondering who sits at my table now in Lisbon
at the Café Chiado, greets Vera, sips espresso,
savors savory and sweet as the day ahead might be?


Richard Stuecker is a poet, essayist, and playwright who graduated from Duke University in 1970. Presently, he is a student at the Bluegrass Writer’s Studio MFA program at Eastern Kentucky University. His poems have appeared in or been accepted by Pegasus, Main Street Rag and District Lit; creative nonfiction in Connotation Press, Brilliant Flash Fiction, Crambo, Louisville Magazine and Delmarva Review; book reviews in the Louisville Courier-Journal. A collection of essays on aging, Vibrant Emeritus, was published in 2014 by John Hunt Publishing (London).
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