The Tower Journal

E. Martin Pedersen


Cremains, they're called now
I didn't know that term
I didn't know it would cost so much
To make Papa burn.

Counting out hundred dollar bills
Trying correctly to mourn
Then looking at old photographs
Of when Papa was born.

Born to burn
A daring adventure

He smiled more in his youth
He got so tired, he just gave up
To tell the truth.

And we will have a service
To respect his memory
There might be crying
Then his ashes will blow away
Into the indifferent sea.

I Kissed You

I kissed you during the earthquake
I knew it wasn't right
But at that moment we were alive
And crouched together all that night

Under a table covered with debris
Later we'll search for our loved ones
I want to touch lips, close my eyes
Feel your strong back and buns

You kissed me during the earthquake
And all during the aftershocks
My shyness veil came down then
Along with entire city blocks.

Copyright © 2017 E. Martin Pedersen

E. Martin Pedersen,  a San Franciscan, has lived in eastern Sicily for over 35 years. He teaches English at the local university. His poetry has appeared in Muddy River Poetry Review, Verse-Virtual, Starving Artist, Literary Yard, Ink Sweat & Tears, and others. Martin is a 2011 alum of the Squaw Valley Community of Writers.

The Tower Journal
Fall/Winter  2017