Two Poems by Richard Dinges Jr.

Where Children Vanish

Red knitted yarn caps
rotting pile of snow
between two crabbed
gloves, fingers idly
gesticulating at hot sun,
a comment lost on breeze
that whispers a fragile
last request, wondering
where children vanished,
melting into brown grass
where seasons end
and others begin again.


Dirty Room

Clothes huddle in corners,
no longer blouses and slacks
but lumps of debris
that lurk in desperate curls
and melt into shadows.

Plates and candy wrappers
meld multi-media still-life.
Ants and other dark
visitors gather, spectators
and nocturnal critics.

Her room grows with her
frantic hormonal explosions,
wild shouts from streets,
school’s out, and friends
rumble bass background
to parents’ treble chatter.

She sees herself in this room,
never right, never complete,
never all the parts in place,
muted by door’s slam,
imprisoned by rules
and neat drawers.

Structure and command seep
into a shirt neatly ironed
to be draped on a hanger
in a dark closet, door forever
closed to a sunny day beckoning
beyond the pane of glass.

Richard Dinges, Jr.