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Poetry by Bradley Samore


Old Home Videos

Watching my two-year-old self I cry
seeing what I was
utterly dependent and happily ignorant

I see my brother in his cartoon underwear
singing and dancing around
me watching his every move
laughing because he is laughing

I see Mom on the floor with us
worn out but smiling
I remember thinking
my parents were invincible

and I hear Dad
interviewing the stars of his show
What did you do today
What did you find in the Easter eggs

like unfed beasts
dormant emotions rattle the cage
and break the levees
flooding my eyes

I need something to hold
something to grip
and my eyelids clamp down
squeezing the people inside

I stare at time
only to blink first
losing the contest

Tree of Love

I planted trees for other partners
pruned and mulched and still they died

but ours thrived in the dirt of friendship
left to grow the way it would

resilient green shimmering leaves
unexpected wild fruit

trunk that stands roots that hold
branches that bend with ripeness


At long day’s end I go to the well
and like an empty bucket
lower myself into the echoes
and fill with all there is


Under the sunset burning itself into night
the great blue heron stands as
I sit on the other shore
trying to match his stillness


Yesterday in the falling leaves
an epiphany came that I thought was mine
but today I discovered it came to another
centuries ago as he watched the tide

what other wisdom comes and goes
reaches across the islands of time
sails to shore or waits in harbor
ready to take us somewhere else

Basketball – Age Nine

I didn’t know any kids in my neighborhood
so in my driveway I invented a game
that if I made enough shots in a row
I’d win the girl I liked at school
as if from afar she’d hear of my efforts
and find me worthy and know I exist

then after the game I sat on the porch
tired from a victory nobody saw
and noticed a lizard come out from the shade
I threw the ball and its body was still
the ball bounced into the grass and was still
I ran to my father and cried for his help
Dad I don’t know why I threw it at him

he held the lizard and told me it was dead
and listened to my worthless cries of remorse
I asked my father what should I do
he asked me What do you think you should do

I went to the garage and got the shovel
then picked up the lizard afraid of its touch
we walked to the back and I dug its grave
my father returned to the weekend’s chores
I stood there and stared at the broken grass


Bradley Samore currently resides in Florida. His writing has been featured in various publications including West Texas Literary Review, Linden Avenue Literary Journal, and SLAB Literary Magazine.

Be sure to check out this exclusive interview with Bradley from 2018, over on the Orson’s Publishing blog.