The Transit of Mercury, 11/11/19 A planet rolls across the sun, black blemish on a blazing face. The journey’s slow, and then it’s done. A planet rolls across the sun. How long before another one, with other watchers in our place? A planet rolls across the sun, black blemish on the blazing face. Consolation Cheer up, my love, and brush away your tears. Together we’ll grow old, then one will die. Who can stay married for a hundred years? We’ve soothed each other’s sudden nighttime fears; we’ve risen to the infant’s angry cry. Cheer up, my love, and brush away your tears. The storm’s forgotten when the weather clears and paints a promised rainbow in the sky. No one stays married for a hundred years. A sweet relief comes when your darling hears the words that never fail to mollify: cheer up, my love, please brush away your tears, for every time our anniversary nears, we’ll celebrate and raise our glasses high. No one stays married for a hundred years. Look now, the silver lining reappears. Things could be worse. My dear, why don’t you try to cheer yourself and brush away those tears. We won’t stay married for a hundred years.
Ruth Holzer’s poems have appeared in Southern Poetry Review, Connecticut River Review, Journal of New Jersey Poets, The South Carolina Review, Blue Unicorn and THEMA, and in other journals and anthologies. A multiple Pushcart Prize nominee, she is the author of five chapbooks, most recently “A Face in the Crowd” (Kelsay Books, 2019) and “Why We’re Here” (Presa Press, 2019). She lives in Virginia.