Summer 2009

Table of Contents - Vol. V, No. 2


Poetry    Essays    Translations    Fiction   

Clay Carpenter



surely that threadbare tire finally will blow if only
because you’re tardy getting to your daughter’s school.
A detour to the garage will get you a new tire
installed in less than an hour for $65 however

what if you pulled into this tiny drive, walled in by this
black rubber mountain, in shaky hand its painted sign:
Reyes Tires. This part of town is safe in daylight, right?

he’s small and Spanish-speaking but with an accent
not South Texas. His smile says you’re not from this
neighborhood, are you? Plucks a tire from the mountain, worn
but not threadbare and rolls it to you: “This is good one.”

fifteen dollars, he says, fifteen minutes. Whirs lug nuts off,
kicks the tire to jar it from the wheel, and in ten is done

but who knows who’s more embarrassed when he says
“No credit cards.” Who knows if he believes you when
you promise to return with cash, and quickly he nods yes

when you lay the bills in the small man’s hand,
his smile says he lost a bet with himself. “Thank
you,” you say, leaning in, making eye contact.
“Any time.”


Morning love poem

the morning lamplight reveals the wife I married,
at her best in the still house, rousing the kids

with a grace that’s startling, all crisp movements
and calm intonations, imparting a proficiency
she didn’t have the night before

confronted with sluggish children and uncooperative
adults she welcomes the morning’s demands

her hands seem to enlarge as she pulls the household
together, decorating us with the rudiments of morning:
food and clothing, soap and toothpaste

operating with the quiet gratitude
of an old physician doing God’s work

as if she were created for this stage


© Clay Carpenter



Poetry    Essays    Translations    Fiction   

Website Copyright © 2009 by Loch Raven Review.

Copyright Notice and Terms of Use: This website contains copyrighted materials, including, but not limited to, text, photographs, and graphics. You may not use, copy, publish, upload, download, post to a bulletin board. or otherwise transmit, distribute, or modify any contents of this website in any way, except that you may download one copy of such contents on any single computer for your own personal non-commercial use, provided you do not alter or remove any copyright, poet, author, or artist attribution, or any other proprietary notices.