Friday, November 27, 2015

Weekly Worded

         Black Friday

    “Hello, I’d like to report a theft.”
    “Go ahead, what was stolen.”
    “My trash.”
    “Someone took off with your garbage can?”
    “No, just the trash inside it.”
    “Did your trash contain anything valuable?”
    “Not really, it smelled like my usual trash.”
    “Where was it when it was taken?”
    “Out by the curb.”
    “Is it possible your sanitation workers picked it up?”
    “What day is this?”
    “Well, I’ll be!”
    “What day do they usually pick up your garbage?”
    “On Fridays.”
    “Then I doubt your trash was stolen.”
    “I thought this was Thursday.”
    “No, it’s Friday.”
    “Thanks for clearing that up.”
    “You’re welcome. Is there anything else?”
    “Well, one other thing disappeared.”
    “Go ahead, what was that?”

Friday, November 20, 2015

Weekly Worded

       Grandmother Said

If you want to know how much
any of us will be missed, stick your hand
into a bucket of water, then pull it out.
The hole that’s left, that’s how much.

I wondered how water could prove anything.
She was on her knees scrubbing the floor,
an arc of suds in front of her like the smile of a ghost.
As she rinsed her rag I held my breath,

afraid I'd be left behind.
Then the water splashed,
a few bubbles clung to her elbow
and fifty years later I still miss her.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Weekly Worded

         Sweeping the Porch

All this might have been caught on one horn
of a crescent moon for half the night
before it slipped and fell to earth.

Crumpled on the grass, it resembles
those stretches of white Caribbean beaches
where lovers walk barefoot along the surf

except much colder, and I haven’t yet
lit the furnace or carried my first load
of firewood to stack beside the hearth.

The warmth of my bed is all I remember
as I glance back toward the house, thinking
how carelessly this new season has begun.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Weekly Worded


Clich├ęs have been said before
so that saying them again
in a less predictable way
makes the lips tingle.
Like trying to find a needle
in a chicken salad sandwich,
or being stuck between
a bowl of oatmeal and a tank
in Tiananmen Square.

It’s just awkward,
like trying to fit a square dance
into a round of boxing.

The tongue is not a lathe
turning on the perfect phrase,
shaping the bannister to heaven.
Rather, it is easier to choose
the old expression than it is
for a politician to squeeze
through the eye of a potato.
Which means it might be
fun to see one try.