A Reader’s Lament

A Reader’s Lament

Popping up, dropping down

And flashing from the margin

Look at me, look at this

Slinging sounds and catching fish

We know you want to read the news

But here darling, an ad for shoes.

I cannot read, I wail and gnash

Your stupid page is all awash

And know you that I always look away?

There’s words in here, you garish whore

Attention hog, cash-drunk bore

Substance lost in keno-blinking-flash.

Away with you, noisome beast

Hoarse hawker, attention leech

I shall not give you the satisfaction

Of commodifying my distraction

With appetite forsworn to sate

Choke on your own click bait.

Let It Die

Let It Die

It is okay to look Loss in the face

And reach out to run your hand along its cheek.

Sometimes it’s good to stare it in the eyes

And whisper “You wound, you always do.”

We drove past the family farm

A place we had no money to buy

And there it goes, to those with pockets deep and full

And I looked at Loss, my companion.

I lecture myself

To smother dreams, to stuff them away

To give no life to them

Do not look, do not hope

Let them die.

There was an 1800’s stone farmhouse on 10.5 acres

Deep windowsills, gleaming wood floors

A kitchen with a professional range

And long stone countertops.

I saw my children running through the woods

Playing in the stream

Curled up by the fireplace at night

I saw the scones lined up on that long counter

Tray after tray going into the oven

For the bed and breakfast guests the next morning.

The dream had curled around my heart

A dream I had no business having

I try you know

To stuff such into a box

But it’s hard to unwrap from my heart

To lift each tendril away when I’d rather embrace

The dream and move into it.

To box instead the sad Loss

And all of its shame and nausea

The way that it says

Nothing will change and you

Are pitiful. Ungrateful. Stupid.

I put the stone house

And all of its loveliness

And the scones, and the woods, and the crackle of the fire

Down into the box and

I let it die.

I don’t understand

And I don’t expect to

And more often than not I

Remember to live into the life I have with joy

But I will not pretend

That loss doesn’t stand beside me

And that my heart isn’t stacked

With boxes of dreams, dying.

Do Delight

Oh, but do

Do delight in home

And wrap a tattered blanket

Over tense shoulders

And run the loose threads

Through your fingers

Remembering the picnic

Blanket caught in a bramble.

The way the trees caught the laughter

And sent it skyward with uplifted boughs.

Virus, virus

But there’s the teapot whistling

And in every book is a door

To worlds unmasked, undistanced

Livable.

Bake that bread that your hands know

Strike light to wick and let

Softer colors throw back the shadows

Do delight, find light, fight.

Sick But How

Little can I bear to be parted

from crisp air’s edge

and light that has first passed

through branches.

The way of the chickadee

(do you know this?)

and the dry scrape of skidding leaves

and the fleeting heat of sun between clouds.

The damp is seeping into my sweatshirt

and a passerby might think

that I’d fallen on my lawn, in trouble

but no, trouble led me to starfish here.

Days in my bed, but at peril to our heating bill

I cracked the window open

I reached my hand out to touch the snowflakes

I wanted the air that is alive.

How many lay abed, wondering

if a contagion from so far away

has nestled within their own bodies

or if it is a domestic invader, a routine bug.

I fill my lungs, testing them, and drink

with an eye towards the window

toward the chickadee handing upside down

from my window pane, inspecting.