Thursday, October 31, 2013

To Job: Advice for Raising Your Second Ten

Don’t get too attached.
Rock them to sleep at night,
but hum your dirges

so they won’t learn the words
until they’re old enough
to not understand.

Tell them bedtime stories
that help them fall asleep worried
about never waking up again.

Make them eat
bitter greens and vinegar.
This is good for them.

Leave for your flocks
in the morning while it’s still cold
and everyone else is dreaming

and turning over and over in their beds.
Don’t come home until the sky is done
with its wispy red tease

of something significant about it all.
Come and go in the same darkness
that fogs your vision and makes you slouch.

Spend your evenings staring at purple clouds
as if you care which way they turn.
Drink lots of wine.

Laugh sparingly and grunt often.
Avoid eye contact
lest you be reminded of someone.

Fifth Wednesday Journal - Fall 2013

Dear Bernadette

I walked into our house (my house now),
after our friends helped you move everything out.
All of the underneath was exposed.

My recliner was in the corner; thanks for leaving it.
I was glad the refrigerator was gone
because I really wanted a beer.

I never knew our bedroom could look so big,
but it did without our bed in it. Thanks
for leaving me a dresser and my clothes.

The closet was nearly empty and for, the first time
in over twenty years, my hang-up clothes could hang
without wrinkling. I remember smirking at that.

There was a nearly full roll of toilet paper
in the bathroom and a soft bar of soap in the tub.
Thanks for those, too.

The day after, I bought a vacuum
and some pine-scented chemicals.
I saved up and bought new furniture –

all dark brown and strong.
I put plants in the breakfast nook,
watered them. Oh, I also left

our old family portrait up on the wall
right where you left it, right where I could see it
from the recliner – where I slept for the rest of the year.

Fifth Wednesday Journal - Fall 2013

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Shameful Jealousy

The sun that day made everywhere
look like yesterday. It was a Saturday morning,
but I was headed to work anyway.

A curly-haired mother with wheat field skin
was holding hands with her curly-haired daughter
busy hitching-up baggy jeans

as faded and frayed as twiced-handed hand-me-downs.
They were walking alongside a field of sunflowers,
their faces shining the way buttercups glow

when held just below the chin. Now,
with each inhalationi and unexpected hush,
I see them - mother and child, sunshine and sunflowers.

Northwind - Fall 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Our Conversations Have Hyphens

Take, for instance, our almost weekly
Bing’s-or-Ixtapa-tonight talk via cell phones
and three-letters-or-less text messages.

Not to mention the busy little
discussions we take turns writing in thin air
while passing the salt shaker back and forth.

How long has it been since we last enjoyed
a little just-after-midnight bawdy talk that romped
its way into a half-inebriated lust of please-

Still, last night’s cool-twilight-laughing-
discussion was nice – especially the way it ended

with a me-holding-open-the-screen-door-for-you
bit of chivalry followed by the sexiest
into-a-one-soft-kiss-after-another shower.

Crack the Spine - Issue 84 (page 25)