Brett Foster

Late August, After Market Turbulence


Sun dances
across the tall grass
left standing in Adams Park,
still uncut because of city cuts.
Official mowers sit in sheds.
The red-blooded mowers
have all been let go,
laid off and slipping off
rosier suburban visions.
Late morning breeze
carouses in the park,
as care-free as town managers
busy with their day trades.


Mercury in Work Boots


Painting trim today and scraping
ceiling plaster, our modest effort
to restore a broken down eyesore
that’s sagging quietly in Chelsea,
my mind soon rises above the rasp
and hum of unreserved force, work
thrust through the funnel of assignment,
the particular chore. Our measured
gear motions that part the sheet rock,
timing internalized in each strike,
the echo of every blow a ring
surrounding the calculation—the human
piston is a marvelous thing.


To Whom It May Concern


This message goes out to the person
who took the coupon folder from my cart
at the Stop-n-Shop in Darien last Tuesday.
I hope you needed it just as much
as I did, and hope that you find work soon,
too, and I will be employed soon, also.
You must have desperately needed them,
although my own desperation led me
to collect them. You must have seen my name,
address, and phone number written there
on the folder, a signature of possession
on those accordion folds, and an indication that I
was out of work. I so would have appreciated
somebody turning it in. I had a bad day
that day, quite a bad day, and your stealing
my coupons just kind of topped it off there.

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Brett Foster is the author of two poetry collections, The Garbage Eater (Triquarterly Books/Northwestern University Press, 2011) and Fall Run Road, which was awarded Finishing Line Press's 2011 Open Chapbook Prize. A new collection is currently under review. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in AGNI, Atlanta Review, Boston Review, Cellpoems, The Common, Hudson Review, IMAGE, Kenyon Review, Literary Imagination, The New Criterion, Pleiades, Poetry Daily, Raritan, Seattle Review, Shenandoah, Southwest Review, Subtropics, and Yale Review. He teaches creative writing and Renaissance literature at Wheaton College.