The Muse

(An International Journal of Poetry)

ISSN 2249 –2178


Volume-2                                                       JUNE -2012                                                    Number-1




Rough Grooved Surface

by Martha Modena Vertreace-Doody

Bemis Woods where sunset turns

untarred stone chips into gold

brighter than wild eyes hiding

in thickets off the road under repair. Our car still cold.

The motor slow to warm as red lights

change from sputter to start.


It’s the rough roads that get me started,

ideas that cover my face when you turn

too fast at the off–ramp. Headlights

flicker warnings in showers of gold,

of wind-fed leaves, cold

nights like this one. I hide


behind shut eyes, dreams which hide

waiting for a jump start

shivering under a cold

moon, pockmarked, grooved. You turn

from Salt Creek’s floating golden

ripples of shallow starlight


toward rough pavement, streetlights

pulling night out of hiding

while workers in orange-gold

vests swing lunch boxes, tools, start

the cement mixer turning

its brew into a thick, cold


stew of bits and pieces, cold

cuts gathered off the street.

Miles later, sleet turns

against your will to drive, hiding

behind a chocolate bar you offer. Snow starts

to thicken on the window like a spun gold


Santa, his sack of gold

nuggets freezing in the cold.

Tomorrow Schuykill River will start

to uncloud Philadelphia streets,

no longer hiding

under Billy Penn waving at us. I turn


to cold instant coffee, motel’s finest, then turn

to you, hiding in bed at the start of a movie.

Goldfinger’s Midas touch kills the lights.