Stephen Joseph

Photo by Asheil Ramsurrun from Pexels

Each winter, the pond is still,

Ice closing like a scar.

Each spring, the wound reopens

To the shimmer of trout

And each summer without you

Still turns to fall, without pause.

The trees bare, the air sharp,

The lamp by the docks

Casting one less shadow

Into the soundless night.



Photo by Roberto Nickson from Pexels

Sometimes on a starlit night,

The world opens,

Speaking from the darkness.

Not voices,

Just the quiet beauty of the night wind

Aimlessly flapping at my shutters.

So I am kept awake,

Fearing that this strange significance,

Having found me here,

Will steal away again if I sleep.



Photo by Julian Kirschner from Pexels

The cinnamon hits me,

Sharp, bitter, but also

Sweet, like the richness of dark earth.

Suddenly it’s Fall again.

Mother has taken us apple-picking,

The cold masking the ferment

Of dropped fruit under our boots.

A strange warmth left that orchard with me;

Sad, aching, but also

Wondrous, like the rhythm of new breath.



Photo: By Valentin Antonucci via Pexels

At night,

When the heat retreats from the air,

The voice returns, asking the predictable question:

Have I failed you today?

You are at rest,

Cool under the whir of the ceiling fan.

I lie helplessly awake,

The day’s rubric needling at me:

Did I smile at you enough today?



Stephen Joseph

Stephen Joseph

Poetry and Pop Culture is the name of the game. Stephen is an author living in Rochester with his wife and two children.