Three Poems by Alan Cohen

Gone Tomorrow

We venture out in the morning
The two of us

Venture into traffic
Start towards work

At home here
Not because we vote as our neighbors

Not because we know them
Or root for the same teams

Not because we have been here two years
Own a home

Like the rain
Live and shop

Open our lives like eyes
Trusting everything that is before us

But because we embrace what we find
And recognize what we embrace

With every sense and common sense
We are all strangers otherwise

And there is nothing temporary about home



I barely grazed the page
But once all the words had spilled
There was only the world again
Wild and lonely and green

Which I found
After all these years
I could not say goodbye



Seeking an equation
Birch tree? Bee sting?
To relate Alan to war
I find only observation

And disapproval
Trying various insults
Circumstances, injuries
Wound, bereavement, injustice
Isolating impulses
Carousel, cannon
I cannot elicit participation

So Alan is not a man
Or some men are not violent
Crocuses, violets
But still viable
Steeplechase, wheelchair
If some, why not all?

War, seeming impossible
Continues to destroy
Scarf, shrub, sky
The world and us
Can it, like slavery
Millstone, laundry
Can we, leave it