by Stewart Alter

We were no longer talking
About the field across the river,
The one with the giant rock emerging
Out of the ground at a funny angle.
We agreed it would be tempting
To slide down that slope together
When the snow covered its jagged edges.
And we agreed also that the rock
Was exposed for one of two reasons–
Either the grass’s frantic fingers had
Lost their grip on this prow, upside down
To us, as it steered the earth around
On its axis–or else it was
A monumental sculpture from ancient times
Which, like the glass shard in the garden
Near the house, would keep rising,
Revealing the bridge of the nose
Of a huge broken bust
Whose forehead is now the sky.

Suddenly we were talking instead
About my misplaced tie, the one
That you picked out for me. I have searched
Everywhere, retraced my steps three or four
Times, rummaged through every drawer
And closet, and looked into the shadow
Beneath the bed, but have come up with nothing.
Except that I do remember
The last time I saw it,
Resting there on a chair.
I studied it, asking, “Is that really me?”
Just as one casual random doubt among many,
Like one arthritic brown leaf
Swirled among many, and it seems
This really is how things get lost.

Stewart Alter, who joined LP2 in the Fall of 2020, has been writing poetry and painting intermittently before, during and now after a long career in business journalism and corporate communications.