Jo-Anne Cappeluti: Four Poems

Jo-Anne Cappeluti earned her Ph.D in English at the University of California, Riverside. She is a widely published poet, most recently published in Alaska Quarterly Review, Lyric, Grey Sparrow, Summerset Reviewand Spiritus. She recently retired after teaching for 30 years at California State University, Fullerton.

Cold Drink

That childhood fear
of seeing a wave
crashing down
drowning you
comes back
like your father
with something sweet to quench
your thirst
but so cold it hurts
all the way down.
It makes you swallow
all these years later
just thinking of it—
half-longing for it.

Xmas Poem

Xmas is old.
You know what to give
to something old—
the promise of time
baking, cleaning
wrapping gifts
filling albums with photographs.
Xmas is so old you
you’re the one who keeps it
alive—because you don’t know
what you’d do
if it died on you.

Wake-up Call at Thirty

— for Tim

Your brother was only thirty-two
a sobering thought as you stand at his grave
remembering when you were three
crossing the street, staring, frozen
at a car veering toward
you, your brother’s voice
from out of nowhere
in your face

What He Feels

Watching his father’s casket
he remembers watching
his father backing
the car down the driveway
staring ahead
in the rearview mirror
not waving back.

What are you looking for?