How does this poem
differ from thoughts and prayers
sent to people full of thoughts and prayers
so full when their mouths open
words pour out
floral and lacy as funeral cards
but minus the cash.
How does this poem
stop deaths, stop people too selfish
in their own pain from simply ending one life
and instead take 10,
20, and yesterday 17?
This poem stops nothing.
This poem changes nothing.
This poem does not celebrate life
or sanctify death.
This poem just shakes its head
as it walks out the door.
After the stones fall
we should have something here
bigger than the bones of a war
lost but still dug up
over and over, resurrecting dead
who simply want sleep
we should have a monument to loss
but it needs no flags.
it needs no glorification.
too many of our sons dead.
if there is a monument to this war
it should be gravestones
with the names worn off
it should weave through it the lives
of fatherless who raised families.
it should invoke women
who loved again
bittersweet with the tannins of old pain.
it should be perfume edged with smoke.
my hands are not strong enough to sculpt it.
Perhaps monuments of this magnitude
need to be shaped of air, posed over
****This is in no way done, but I needed to get this unformed idea out there.
The food pantry is out of rice
but has plenty of boxed potatoes
leaving room for barter
a base economy
of beef stew traded for tomato soup
or egg noodles for rice
Me? I wanna be base-less
and free of cans
Rich people don’t eat canned food
and buy fresh or frozen
shop the edges of the store
while we shop the middle
a choice between hamburger helper
and ramen, hoping someday
for better meat.
They call it grief bacon
that cushion of extra tasty
layered over pain
It is not delicious?
Nothing sweeter than old tears
I write after the children and cats are asleep
and the news slows like a clock needing winding
in an age when most time is measured digitally,
and whispered to satellites so it is always right.
I need to wait for meter, lackadaisical
and beyond this ticking down like a cooling engine
of each possible minute I might find a voice
where instead I am cutting chicken
or peeling potatoes
Its not true that all writers who are women
are childless. We are here
but guilty of living in sips and gasps
inside that room of one’s own
that is actually a linen closet
where poems whisper as we fold towels and maybe
if we are lucky enough
we remember the words
when time allows.
The new thing’s not cloth so beautiful
only the 1% can see its shimmer
and its not cake sweet in one slice
while the rest is cardboard construct
not in absolute but swing.
We have different sets of fact
instead of simple opinion
like plain plates for family suppers
and Royal Daulton for company
but all the edges are gilt
skimmed over relativity,
our flexibility bending jointlessly
and against anatomy
simply faked a set of clothes.
we’re doing so much more than that.
Pulling prosperity from air,
renaming success from bankruptcy
and we’re doing it with ideas
too large for our small heads.
If we speak it, it is so.
If we stay silent, it never was.
smaller than hope
(that bitch knows
we have ahead of us
a season of ice
but I’ll gladly add
the seconds to
an appreciable difference)
time is like that
a change so subtle
though it is a thing