Poems by Michael Lauchlan

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A Coming Flood

by Michael Lauchlan

From Canary Spring 2016

Michael lives near the Lower Rouge River in the Great Lakes Watershed.

Where taxis growl and brownstones rise
from porch-stoops, where a quick girl
pockets her phone and crosses a street
angling for a train, waves will soon
lap over curbs. Salt will rot
what remains of mortar, stone, oak.
A few drenched scrappers will burn
what they can scrounge from stores,
apartments, from lives that once seemed
to matter. We know this as we know
the score of a game, the sound of lies,
the grip of a child’s hand. Now
and again a building will roar
and crumble, nudged by tide or storm,
and those below will be added
to what those alive must forget.




Ornamental

by Michael Lauchlan

From Canary Winter 2015-16

These grasses were once an inland sea,
pulsing with each wind, parting for deer
headed to water. Now they hold
a patch of dirt between house and shrub,
street and sidewalk. They offer a bit


of foreground outside a kitchen window
where December tears at everything alive
and the railroad’s defoliants have scarred
the pines since last spring’s attack
on the underbrush. The grasses wave


a bit as we wash dinner plates
and gaze into a foreground of fears,
fury, obsessions, into realms beyond,
where a muted sun splashes down
on rolling semis that char the dusk.




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