December 18, 2014

Two Poems by Jan Ball

daughter (Chicago) 
my face in your bathtowel
lemon verbena body wash
after you left yesterday
today I wrap my forehead 
in a streakycloud sky
above the jakuzzi lake 
the remote control airplane 
nose-up glides
across the blue pond
like you an aching day ago
pallas athena gone again
to new york city
my mind travels
comes and goes
comes and goes
takes off, banks, returns
I shower, wash my hair
with your pantene blonde
expressions shampoo, 
the shimmering glow 
of the pink satin jacket
you wore over that delicate 
camisole yet your plebian jeans 
at our boxing day party
you’d let me hold your hand
while we shopped in the afternoon
(just a spacing error in your e-mail
looks like a poem to me)
which button are you pressing now
in your cyberworld:
your tapered fingers, minerva nails
empty room, tiger-eye floorboards don’t blink 
lunch with Ruth
I saw you glance at the No Smoking sign 
at lunch today while I was talking. Only 
a second passed while your blue eyes
flitted to the wall, but I saw you. In that 
almost imperceptible sideways flick of 
the eyes, I thought, “Oh, maybe I’ve missed 
something, a poster of the Aegean Sea or a 
catchy quote;” we weren’t seated by a window 
to be distracted by a passing bicycle or pedestrian,
just sandwiched up against a wall; but, no, 
it was only a No Smoking sign.
Jan Ball taught ESL at DePaul University in Chicago. Since she started submitting poems for publication in 1998, 177 of her poems have been published in journals such as: Atlanta Review, Calyx, Connecticut Review, Mid-America Review, Nimrod and Verse Wisconsin. Jan has published her two chapbooks: accompanying spouse (2011) and Chapter of Faults (2014) with Finishing Line Press. They are available on Amazon. Jan is a member of the Poetry Club of Chicago. Besides writing poetry, Jan wrote a dissertation at the University of Rochester in 1996: Age and Natural Order in Second Language Acquisition. When not writing, working out or gardening at the family farm, Jan and her husband travel and like to cook for friends.

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