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Jeffrey C. Alfier


Shadows in Summer

The summers come back to you. A few,
more often than others. You recall
the time you battered that young blackbird
from its nest near your grandmother's house
because something inside you whispered
it was arrogant for birds to nest
in branches near ground. And the duckling
by that placid stream, hit once again
with dirt clods, and you became puzzled

when it flipped-over on its back, its head
strangely, suddenly meeting the depths
to face its familiar elements:
fish, earth, current. Yes. You did these things
simply because the out-of-reach
fell quickly, brilliantly, within grasp.
Maybe it happened the same summer
your two-year old brother wandered-off
and swallowed insecticide, throwing

you into that smothering panic
unshakeable for years. Still, you could
go home to television and watch
the bombers float on
12 O'clock High
like ones your father flew—start earthward,
their slow departure from controlled flight,
rolling inverted. Though the same scenes
you always wished more chutes would blossom.
You wish you could take the dirt clods back.



The Loop of Affinity

for Mahmud Darwish

Grey-eyed daughter
begging a city from
her father's grip—
He relinquishes Troy.

Crumpled walls of
houses whose blind windows
have gone insane
from hearing breath forsake
a child after
his seven hours of life.

Amphorae rest
on a seabed and trace
the faint outline
of a vanishing ship.


Jeffrey C. Alfier currently resides in Tucson, Arizona. He holds an MA in Humanitieis, and has served as an adjunct faculty member with City Colleges of Chicago's European Division. Publication credits include work in the anthologies Uno - A Poetry Anthology (Xlibris, 2002), Because I Fly (McGraw-Hill, 2001), and A Time of Trial (Hidden Book Press, 2002); and work in the journals Columbia Review, Conspire, CrossConnect, Euphony, Laughing Dog, Melic Review, Niederngasse, Paumanok Review, Pif Magazine, Poetry Greece, Poetry Midwest, Stolen Island Review, and Trinity College Journal.
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