National Poetry Month: Two Poems by Terrance Millet

The Operator’s Daughter 


Sometimes    a moment opens in her mind and 

she is little     when winter comes her 

father puts storm windows up where summer screens  

once were     at the bottom of the frame 

 a wooden flap seals off three ventilation holes  

  and in the morning she pushes up the window to  

lift the flap and press her nose  

against the holes      and breathe  

cold winter air that smells (she  

knows) of ozone       she    

holds her hands up to  

the patterns of thick frost upon the glass  

and melts small handprints there   thenscrapes  

frost off with fingernails to  

place upon her tongue  


the winter melting in her mouth 


~ Terrance Millet 2020 

The Painter’s Grandson 

~ for Jack Bowman, Carmel, California, 1978 


Every morning the old man takes  

the boy by the hand and waters the flowers takes 

a dozen trips with the watering can      and the boy  

never tires of it       the  

water rushes out of the long spout  the boy laughs  

as it soaks the leaves and  

he never lets go of the old man’s hand    sometimes  

the sun lights them up as they walk    back and forth  

from the gallery  

to the flower box on Dolores street    the 

courtyard is bright as they move through the light   sometimes 

it is foggy in Carmel and the courtyard is hushed  

with the glow of the fog      and then 

the man talks to the boy in whispers  

and the boy murmurs back in the hushed landscape 


~ Terrance Millet 2020