Two Poems

By Mary Peelen


In the long winter of our
histological battle,

blood feuds and the
subsequent insanity,

we call out for the sanctuary
of predictable outcomes

like the parabolic arc
of a free-falling body

like the summer of
rickety wheelbarrows

hauled under the breezeway
that yielded a garden,

wildly fragrant and
resistant to drought.

If cancer strikes you
as random or chaotic,

remember that like
every other algorithm,

it too has a unique function,
the elegance of its own logic.



Foliage of the Warren pear
is shiny as light.

Red-shifted at dusk,
the sun’s last scatter of photons

gathers from each leaf
a thousand shades of green.

Blue jays got the pears
before they were ripe,

pecked them full of holes,
all but one.

can’t prove everything.

Gödel proved that some things
are a matter of faith.

When I come to you
offering one small green pear,

I’m asking you to believe in
every green there is,

at every hour.
The whole tree.

Mary Peelen, MDiv, MFA, is a poet whose work has appeared in Michigan Quarterly Review, Alaska Quarterly Review, and elsewhere. She lives in San Francisco.

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