Green-Weak Poems by Therese Broderick–A New Poetry Release

Red Wolf Editions is pleased to announce the release of a new poetry collection by Therese Broderick.

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A daughter’s labor in grass-cutting epitomizes these elegiac familial poems. The three sections of this endearing collection act together as memory and catharsis, with an overall tone of love and whimsy. The first “green-weak” section opens with the remembrance. It defines the father-daughter relationship, its roots in the practice of scissoring the cardboard found within her father’s Roxy shirts into a child’s hand-made cards.

The poems take us through art and illness, a mother’s sense of lack, a brother’s divorce and other undoings. At heart the poems honor the perfection of imperfections: “And I loved him/to the end/despite a lifelong lack/of luster.” (Song for the Colorblind Artist). The collection’s title refers to her father’s congenital “green-weak” colorblindness, a faulty perception of reds and greens.

Her idyllic musings while cutting grass by scissors is at center, a meditation (glimpsing “the conjuring garden knot, its green snaking”) serving as transition to the third “regreening” section. It deals with death and loss. It is grief contained by noticing “an opened bag of nougat and milk/chocolate truffles” at her mother’s cremation and tellingly endured through the arrayed riches of Morocco. The reader takes each mouthful of poems, cupping them, full of weight and weightlessness.

Then there’s the one and only erotic poem, which is clinically breathtaking, a kind of Spanish blessing.

Green is the trope, whether in the Moroccan silk of “Paradise Green”, or in grass’s “emerald blade”, or “the neon L sprouting from Google’s trademark.” How deep sorrow, how deep the green. It becomes blue.

Download the collection here.

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TEN MONTHS AND THREE WEEKS, Therese Broderick

Ten Months And Three Weeks
by Therese Broderick

Still too young to tell me what you’re searching for
after I rest your purple spoon on the highchair tray
nearly cleaned of peas and tuna bits, after I lift
your body to my shoulder to thrum away bubbles

of swallowed air. You babble ”Khaa” while prying
open my lips, sticky fingers pinching moist bottom
front teeth, then poking innermost cheeks,
gums, porcelain-capped molars and all along

my tongue–fat muscle nannying you
on Monday mornings. Maybe you’re reaching for
warmed-up wads which had been oiling my throat
through lunchtime–“More? More?”–new words

your family and I must sample; or are you
probing for a seedless red grape which
you’ve always sensed should be pulping here
within me, if only I were Great-Grandmother

chewing to harmlessness your next new food then
passing it by lip with a kiss? same first reflex
born to shorebirds–beaks pecking, baby necks
outstretching to mother gullets or father pellets.

I’ll wait for your knuckles to tire out
and tuck, before humming our song to thumbs.

THEIR MOVING VAN DRIVES OFF, Therese Broderick

Their Moving Van Drives Off
by Therese Broderick

and so I bed down on their kitchen floor,
sleeping bag next to their one radiator
widowed by its one thermostat,
a golden monocle stuck at 60;

feet coupling near the rickety refrigerator,
coils gagging, motors coughing,
minus-seven-degree winds rasping
other tenants’ carports and dumpsters.

I close my eyes to my mother’s story:
no matter how chilly the drafts
from hand-sawed doors and shutters
her people would huddle on the carpet
of their parlor, beside their coffins–

stillborn infant, pocked schoolboy,
spinster aunt, or one more young uncle
frozen drunk on the Erie barge.

TO THE THREE TEMPLE BELLS HUNG ON MY NEW SPARE ROOM’S DOORKNOB, Therese Broderick

To the Three Temple Bells Hung On My New Spare Room’s Doorknob
by Therese Broderick

Altogether now, not too loudly,
let’s ring out my former
Storage Room–
my parents’ chairs, lamps, wall mirrors
and too many years of photo frames;
and my Office painted green–
that Macintosh console I hauled home
then sold too cheaply one December;
and my wallpapered Nursery–
those longest nights of my life dangling
the faces on a checkered mobile;
and my off-white Vacancy–
brand new room, upstairs, back corner,
south sun when we both moved in
that June weekend I chimed vows,
chimed promises to him
to stay in one place.

Therese’s process notes:
When writing poems, I strive to envoice “thought-sounding”, the sound of mind-in-action, the tidal murmurings of feeling. One of my composition strategies is to study and emulate the work of other poets who have already mastered that intimate tone. Most of my poems blend three elements: Autobiography; a turn away from The Actual for the sake of The Art; and homages to the examples of other poets.

Therese L. Broderick has contributed to her poetry community (Albany, New York) for 14 years in various roles—writer, reader, teacher, critique buddy, classroom guest, judge, and Board volunteer.

Therese blogs at Poet Apace.