Three Poems


Christina E. Petrides





Naptime Ritual



Stiff woven fibers pop

Beneath determined claws.

A small pink bristled tongue

Combs sandy brindled fur.

With a great jagged yawn,

The plump housecat curls

And hums herself to sleep.








Angry shadows

Drive down

Smoke-crowded promenades

To maim strangers

Shatter common peace

Cut to weeping ribbons of police tape

And makeshift blankets

To fan fears of greater dangers

Blowing up





Rush Hour



Horns—deep, light, and piercing—

Burst through the blur of evening

Against the cram school windows

Where uniformed students sit

Muttering over vocabulary books,

Trying to absorb strange foreign words.

Frustrated adults drive homeward,

Their tired and wrinkled minds

On those uncompleted mundane duties

Left behind or waiting uneasily at home.









Christina E. Petrides is an expatriate American who lives and works on a small Pacific island where all the magpies and the palm trees are imported, but the rice wine is indigenous and delicious.