Hempel’s The Transfer


Here is a lovely poem by Elise Hempel. She has a page at Poetry Foundation with another poem here. This poem expresses a fleeting and rarely captured sentiment, so it took me hours to find the image featured here, a painting by Alice Neel.

The Transfer

His car rolls up to the curb, you switch
your mood, which doll to bring and rush

out again on the sliding steps
of your shoes half-on, forgetting to zip

your new pink coat in thirty degrees,
teeth and hair not brushed, already

passing the birch, mid-way between us,
too far to hear my fading voice

calling my rope of reminders as I
lean out in my robe, another Saturday

morning you’re pulled toward his smile, his gifts,
sweeping on two flattened rafts

from mine to his, your fleeting wave
down the rapids of the drive.