Ellaraine Lockie: Two Poems

Ellaraine Lockie is a widely published and awarded poet, nonfiction book author and essayist.  Her recent collections have been awarded Best Individual Collection from Purple Patch magazine in England, the San Gabriel Poetry Festival Chapbook Contest and The Aurorean’s Chapbook Pick.  Forthcoming is her tenth chapbook, Coffee House Confessions, from Silver Birch Press. Ellaraine also teaches poetry workshops and serves as Poetry Editor for the lifestyles magazine, Lilipoh, and Associate Editor for Mobius, the Poetry Magazine.


On Becoming George Sand

A stick from a crabapple branch
in my seven-year-old surgeon’s hand
The boy prone on a bed of grass
Pants pulled down and burnt toast eyes
big as the pubescent fruits on the tree

I wanted one of what my patient had
when what I had down there was empty
My father caught us and paddled me
with the stick

Later I’d learn the term penis envy
Feel the weight of that appendage
in my dreams, study Freud
Someday I’d wear baggy pants
Stuff a fedora with a head of brown curls
Ticket-pocket with a pack of Camels

Sneak out into the night
sans the shine of cosmetics
come-on of skin
cat-in-heat call of perfume
Instead, the courting of fragile hands
that hold pen or paintbrush
The smoky side of rooms
with a piano bar
The counterpoint of a nocturne


Angle of Repose

The snorkel-like headgear
Something perhaps
out of the bar scene in Star Wars
Always good for a laugh
Unless you’re the one with sleep apnea wearing it
Who is more likely to cry in the struggle
against suffocation anxiety

Unless you know that not long ago
you would have had a hole
drilled in your throat
A plug during the day

This history has trained hands
that caress the back of your mind
Continue to knead down the neck
the shoulders, spine, chest

Fingers flick on the switch of surrender
Air thick with fog
that sounds as though a cougar
breathes down your throat
Shape-shifts into Sandburg’s little cat feet

The kitten to whom they belong
sits on silent haunches
by the black machine beside your bed
before moving on
Like the tooth fairy
before the next house call

What are you looking for?