Two Poems By Cameron Morse

Pic by Andrew Neel



Two Cashews

Impossible not to look
around and fall in love with,
this life extends daily
its bouquet of leafless branches.

On the last day in April,
my new maple spirals upwards
a staircase of green leaves,
a statue of liberty. Lili and I

negotiate a snack with our two-year-old
Theo: two cashews, alfresco
on the back patio while quiche
bakes inside the house.

How pristine in spring is
the morning air, Omi ensconced
in the polyester pink
flaps of Lili’s bathrobe,

a bobblehead above a collarbone,
a raised eyebrow, two beads
of light in her dark eyes. In the arbor
overhead, a fledgling sparrow,

downy-halved, cheeps a thinner
cheep than its parent
squatters. The barricade
I built holds against the lifting

hind legs of the dogs. I had to stretch
open the roll of chicken
wire like a scroll, the muscles
of a palsied hand.


Patio Chair

Remove my body
and the space will close
behind it, the hanging
chad avoid that will fill in
like shapes in a coloring book.
It’s not hard to imagine
myself elsewhere.
My patio chair will provide
a conference room
for raindrops. A sparrow
will duck in his black
neck to say hello, the dog shake
a clink out of his collar
in the rain. It’s not hard to imagine
paying the mortgage on some
other house. Maybe there is something
under the figure, as you put it,
some God in the costume
of human flesh. Maybe body
is a conduit, a breathing tube,
and I can trace each breath
back to the patio chair, its lap
full of rainwater, its rough
draft, an outline in the dry pavement.


About the Author

Cameron Morse was diagnosed with a glioblastoma in 2014. With a 14.6-month life expectancy, he entered the Creative Writing Program at the University of Missouri—Kansas City and, in 2018, graduated with an M.F.A. His poems have been published in numerous magazines, including New LettersBridge EightPortland Review and South Dakota Review. His first poetry collection, Fall Risk, won Glass Lyre Press’s 2018 Best Book Award. His latest is Baldy (Spartan Press, 2020). He lives with his wife Lili and two children in Blue Springs, Missouri, where he serves as poetry editor for Harbor ReviewFor more information, check out his Facebook page or website.