Friday, December 25, 2015
“Cabernet or Chardonnay?”
“You always told me the wine depended on the menu.”
“We’re not eating, we’re drinking.”
“Then both, by all means.”
“Okay, let’s start with the red.”
“You aren’t going to sniff the cork, are you?”
“It’s a twist top.”
“Then just pass the damn bottle.”
“Well now, we don’t have to behave like winos.”
“Excuse me. Please pass the damn bottle.”
Friday, December 18, 2015
What to do, I said to myself, about becoming
a somebody? What to think, how to speak,
where to be so the best possible moment
wants to take me along. And then I whisper,
as if to an anybody, who cares what you think?
You are not the hub of a wheel, or even a pulley
that lifts great ideas out of the dirt. You are
dimmer than an anybody, an impersonation
waiting to fall like a shadow against a wall.
So I walked, I don’t know where, and thought
why do I try, when will I learn, how does
a yearning this size ever get off the ground?
Friday, December 11, 2015
My neighbor hauls four more calves
home from the livestock auction this December.
Their faces are fresh as snow.
He keeps no shelter on his stark seven acres
except for the shack where he sleeps
and the shed that protects the hay.
Twice a day he carts out six bales,
spreads them on the trampled ground.
His cattle surround him
but not close enough to be struck
by the rod he uses for support.
It’s time to eat.
I see the animals’ excitement,
keeping their distance,
letting him unload and leave.
He must be their god
though he is no god to me.
Friday, December 4, 2015
On the drive home
the schoolteacher plans
what happens next.
He stopped believing in lessons
so he’s writing a novel
in a small apartment near the railroad tracks.
Freight trains disrupt every chapter.
He suspects they’ll find their way
into the ending, though he’s not there yet.
A year ago when he started
he thought the story so full of promise.
Now it’s just work,
the drudgery of a factory
stamping out an assembly of words.
He knows there’s no resolution
more perfect than death
yet he wants something else.
The conflict has shifted
from the page to the long drive home.
Another Friday night.
He hopes for another chapter
and really, that’s all he believes in,
a few more words
and maybe a little luck.