Two Poems by Ryan Lawrence

Valentine’s Day

It’s a mix of scenes
from dreams and movies,
Julia Roberts in most of them:

an apartment, an office,
or a swimming pool
brimming with roses by the dozen,

a chlorinated broth of red and pink blooms
and her wide mouth morphing
into an enameled half-moon.

Sometimes you look at me
in a cinematic way,
in want of such a gesture,

and like Julia, I think,
you’d flash your pearly whites
if you were flooded with roses.

You’d wear that smile
as long as you could,
even when you felt the burden,

your fingers bleeding
as you put them one
by one into a big glass,

so much watering and trimming
just to make them last.


Snow Moon

We’re the first ones here, you said,
as we tramped through the snow,

and it was true,
a patch not touched by boots,

perfect as can be
till you sank shin-deep

and made shiny blue pits,
a south Texas chica

who’s never seen snow like this,
everything new again,

like you’re a kid again,
or a man stepping on the moon.


In addition to a book of poetry, Ryan Lawrence is working on a memoir about growing up on the banks of NC. He lives in Portland and has work published or forthcoming from Sixfold, New Millennium Writings, Cowboy Poetry Press, Bindweed, and the 2017 edition of NCSU’s Windhover.

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