Poems - Mitchel Montagna


Labor Day 

A veil of sun
shimmered on the lake;
a grove of pines
blurred in its wake.
Skinny girls teased  
with burnt-cork eyes,
smoking Camels and
getting high. 
Glare lifted like fog;
the heat bloomed,
like a spreading fire
through the afternoon.
Bleary-eyed dads
came off their chairs;
they staggered down
to the sunburned square.
Crushed by drink, 
they stomped and cried
their dirty oaths
at the steaming sky.
The girls felt glee;
they felt their best.
They disrobed to show
their mothers’ breasts –
splendid and raw –
for the dazzled men,
that pitiless day
at summer’s end.

Middle Age Folly

Lurching hole-eyed and numb, he wondered if talking might
   help. Maybe he could regain their respect that

way; he could show wisdom as the product of his experience.
   He rehearsed during wretched nights:  “Did you ever 

look into a mirror and see something lower than dog shit?”
   He gripped sheets as fever wrung him, sweat blistering  

his skin.  “I don’t mean that as a metaphor. I mean, really 
   lower than dog shit.”  But he understood that it was

useless to try and get their attention, all those smug bastards.  
   He needed to feel bigger, but he knew he was smaller.  

It was worse than those days in high school, when they  
   kicked his skinny little ass.  This was no way to finish, it 

should happen near the start: the agony that you fight through,
   and laugh about years later.   

Mitchel Montagna is a corporate communications writer for a large professional services firm. He has also worked as a radio news reporter and a special education teacher. His poetry has appeared in The Penwood Review, Naturewriting, Poetry Life and Times, and PEEKS and valleys. His fiction has appeared in Amarillo Bay. He is married and lives in New Jersey.