Tag: poetry

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In between time allotted for
Cooking and working and eating and sleeping
He stops and drops the
Research to
Put out my fire, to drag through
Miles of code for cockroaches
Crawling through the cracks.

In all the free time, stolen from
Retirees and stay-at-home mothers (and
Teachers in the summertime),
Volunteers pour batter into
Cupcake wrappers and scrape
Burnt soup from pot bottoms and
Then before bed, troll Walmart for
Polyblend socks on sale
To cover up rotting black toes.

After everything else is done at the
End of the day, kids gather up a
Minute to scrub crayon onto
Construction paper, launch letters
Across a page, piling the notes
For unknown soldiers and old folks
On the counter next to their
Lunch boxes.

submit to me - uncle toms cabin at had dam neck fair
April 7 Poem

How do you like my new boots?
I’ll bet it is quite easy to smell the
Hide shine from your vantage,
Sole pressing into your throat.

I’ve heard you have thoughts.
How interesting. When did that
Start happening? It’s all so
Untidy however. Sweep up.

Tonight we’re having roast.
You know how to do that right?
If you could, as well, mash the
‘Tatoes with the skin on.

Later, after you’ve washed up,
Perhaps we can go for a walk. You can
Carry me, if you wouldn’t mind. I’m so
Exhausted from mattering.

I am jealous. Who would not be? You
Sleep so soundly. I’ve been watching you win at
Slumber, mouth slack and wet.
In darkness seething: I am not you.

Poem for April 1

Photo by Elizabeth HowardLying flat on the grass,
Crushing the blades
I am a bookmark between
The earth and all that is above.

“You are not looking UP,”
I once read. “Imagine you can
Step out into the stars. All the
Universe is in front of you.”

All the universe — the sun which is a
Star; and greater suns indeed, also stars,
And the moons which are just rocks like
Gravel scattered between the flagstones.

The landscapers moved the daffodils.
“Give them some water. They’ll perk back up.”
Just so with this grass beneath me.
Those ants I laid poison for in the living room: not so lucky.

Sometime this week, the men will come to tear out the yuccas.
The women will carve out the daisies.
A redbud tree waits at the nursery to be adopted;
Legions of utility workers attend my yard with blue and yellow spray.

I lay on the grass
My sprained ankle rests akimbo.
I gaze up and plan a shutter painting party as clouds drift by.
In the nearest slice of sun

The dog drops her head and sighs.

It’s just past 8 and
Summer. I am hiding on the
Bottom bunk. My daughters have
All gone downstairs. My
Son is echoing in the shower. I am a
Sliver of time away from being set
Free into the night, into their
Dreamland, after hugs and kisses
Recede and I’ve read the required
Pages of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and
Then, oh then, I’m free to let the
Twilight catch me, and hold me.

Until then I am hiding on my
Daughter’s bunk, eyes on the blonde pine
Slats, listening to my son warble
Between the soapy drops.
I’m caught by light that isn’t young anymore,
And I am sure of this day: as sure that this narrow bed will return as a gift and
My daughters too will feel this exhaustion like a weight on them
Someday.
On that same day, far flung, I know I will
Recall perfectly the toffee of her wet hair at bedtime and
The cocoon of the bottom bunk.

— from some traveling place


The choir moved like
Cattle from the pews to their
The risers, Easter morning.
Two arms raised and one intake of breath.

That morning however

A soprano stood alone at her
Bathroom mirror, pushing her
Fingers through still-warm
Grey strands. Hot plastic
Beast on the counter top
Lay slowly cooling down
Waiting to be put away. The
Woman tugged her green
Jacket lapel, touched the golden hoop earring
And gazed at the jagged and
Ever-unfamiliar face surrounding
The shock of green eyes
Pooling with memory.

A tenor himself listening to
The Beatles on the way to service
Strokes and strokes his beard again
Like totem. He’s not singing a
Hard days night in this Camry but in a
Beetle that burned out 28 summers ago
And left him stranded on a New Hampshire
Highway, so that he had to walk into
The town with his guitar and his
Duffle found himself in bed that night with the
Stranger who stopped and offered
Him a ride.

The alto shakes. She prefers to think she
Vibrates, but the hand she once used for
Simple tasks — drying a wineglass, sewing skin —
Has broken away from her body’s grasp and gone on out
Its own. She won’t answer you if you ask.
She has not consulted anyone. She
Cares not to know why. She wears
Deep purple today, remembering
Mary Magdalene and her set aside grief.

The bass forgot his reading glasses today. He is
Singing from memory, and seeing the glasses on his
Bedside table, on top of his iPad, next to his
Empty beer bottle. He walks back through the
Room and sees he forgot, too, to make
The bed. The phone rang while he was
Tying the pink tie his dead partner gave him
Three years ago. His mother calling to
Say hello and make sure he is
OK. Yes mom. Love you. Call you later. Click.
He finished tying the tie and lost in
Memory,
Walked out.

Two arms circle. The choir finishes the breath in
G. In steady stream they leave the
Risers, Easter morning undone,
Each gone to find one seat again.


Google can you spare me a
A chance encounter with
Life? I keep wandering around
Your innards, picking at
Scabs and chewing on old
Gum stuck under old
Search results somehow unable to
Recall what I came here for in the
First place. And, also, no thank you
Bing.

Once I used a thing called a
Guide, which was a book, written by
A person who’d put foot into
Cow shit at a summer fair and
Ate stale sandwiches from a
Museum cafe. And converted then condensed those
Memories into hard-cold paragraphs of nothing and
Symbols you’d flip a key to read.
So what’s the diff, google user? Shouldn’t I just
Succumb to your 4 stars?

Decide, my distant youth calls to me,
The pack getting heavy on her back.
But I have wandered off into
Webbed inertia. What area attractions appeal
To me I cannot say. I can only hear the
Noise of newsless news, the screech of
Baseless fears, and
A death rattle inside
Perfect tasting love minutes
Wasting away.