Friday, October 26, 2012

Weekly Worded

Middle Class Parachutes

“Congratulations on your retirement!”
“Thanks, but it’s not much to get excited about.”
“Really?  I’ve got 10 years before I can even think about retiring.”
“Lucky you.”
“Oh, so you enjoyed your career?”
“No, I hated it.”
“And you’re depressed about retirement?”
“Did I say I was depressed?”
“You said you weren’t excited.”
“Careers are like skydiving -- 30 years to reach altitude, then it’s a plummet.”
“But what about the thrill of the descent?”
“I’ll be falling fast enough to bury myself.”
“Surely you have a parachute.  Annuities?  Stocks?  Performance bonuses?”
“I don’t even have health insurance.”
“What did you do with your earnings for 30 years?”
“I fed them to the children.”
“Then take solace in your family, they won’t let you down.”
“I know, they moved back home.”
“Then think of all the time you’ll spend with the grandchildren.”
“I was worried about that when you started this conversation.”

Friday, October 19, 2012

Weekly Worded

 Your Location Could Not Be Determined

The last time I checked
moonlight glazed the desert white.
I tapped out an informal Morse code
against the steering wheel
there at the side of the road,
but nothing was wrong.
I had stopped, shut the engine off
and opened my windows
to hear the tick of the cooling earth.
In the matrix of destiny
I was both on my way and not
trying anymore, my lungs
emptied then refreshed
like spring water issuing from the ground
with no more purpose than to
wash the bedrock clean.
Of the shadows around me
some shaped themselves
into hogans where the faint stars
sat in their ancient circles
listening, listening.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Weekly Worded

Dog Gone Days

As Sirius’ heat
loses intensity

the sun rises a hair
later, I stir my bones

and lazily climb out
of bed, lift my robe off

a closet hook where it
hung all summer like an

obedient shadow.
My bathroom mirror reflects

a haze like pond scum with
these cattails whiskering

against the morning light.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Weekly Worded

Ask Me 2
    (for the late William Stafford)

Some time after the daylight comes ask me
about my laundry.  Ask me why
my socks end up under every bed.  Others,
you say, manage to get their dirty clothes to
the hamper and in their small way try 
helping out.  Ask me what difference
their random domestic gesture has made.

I will listen to what you say.
You and I can bend to pick up
the scattered shirts.  We know
the floor draft is there, churning, that it
suddenly sweeps my underwear away
in the stillness of each evening’s undressing. 
What the washer says, that is what I say.