person Bob Meszaros, two poems

Bob Meszaros taught English at Hamden High School in Hamden, Connecticut, for thirty-two years. He retired from high school teaching in June of 1999. During the 70s and 80s his poems appeared in a number of literary journals, such as En Passant and Voices International. In the year 2000 he began teaching part time at Quinnipiac University, and he once again began to submit his work for publication. His poems have subsequently appeared in The Connecticut Review, Main Street Rag, Red Wheelbarrow, Tar River Poetry, Concho River Review, and other literary journals.

The Pathogens

No bedrock here
just a ridge of dirt and stone
where the glacier stopped
and the ice withdrew
seventeen thousand years ago.

Now, children of the pandemic,
haunted by pictures of the virus–
pictures hung behind updates and warnings
on tv and computer screens–

build cairns on granite boulders–
narrow blunt-topped columns, rising
three or four stones high, turning
boulders into pathogens–

a morning’s work
for frightened children,
a morning’s work they hope the tide
will quickly wash away.

Waiting for the Grandchildren

At the curb, stacked like cordwood,
nine biodegradable brown paper bags
stuffed with last year’s leaves–the leaves
of red oak, beach and maple–now colorless
and brittle, waiting for the backhoe
and the dump truck to arrive.

Behind the wooden deck, hanging
from the crooks of slender wrought iron
poles–poles we shouldered then pitch-forked
hurriedly in place–two yellow tube feeders,
their stainless-steel screen cylinders packed
with black hard-shelled nyjer, the seeds
beloved by finches, redpolls, siskins.

The plastic chairs are on the deck,
set six feet apart. The limestone bird
bath, bowl on base, is balanced, stable,
set in place on grass we pounded
flat with cast iron tampers.

Between the chairs, trays of surgical
face masks, still in their cellophane wrappers,
grace the Quick-Fold patio side-tables, like plates
of store-bought cookies, waiting.

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