There Should Be Seven
"There is nothing wrong with sobriety in moderation." John Ciardi
I know at the rate I'm going, I'll run out of both
beer and paper by the end of the day. I plan to buy more.
I have a spot in my yard where I've planted only weeds.
My neighbor thinks I'm odd, but the weeds look happy.
In a crowded bathroom, a woman walks in; her two young children squirm,
hold their hands between crossed legs. I give them my place in line.
I read a caption in the paper, cut it out, frame it. It reads: Clergy see no threat
to life on Mars; proof would mean God even bigger than thought.
I have a friend who has written a blues song about a white man's shoes.
He titles it I Ain't got no Sole. I wish him well.
A man approaches me at a reading and asks for the poem
I wrote about grief. I rip it from my book and give it to him.
I read this poem and know something is missing.
I light a cigarette, sip my beer, decide to leave it out.
There are More than Seven
"Without courage, all other virtues lose their meaning." Winston
Three days turn into a succession of walks
through the interior of my house.
I don't shower or change my clothes.
Eventually I sleep, dream of who to blame.
I read a great poet and believe I am mediocre.
I write something awful and prove myself right.
My husband asks if something's wrong. I lie, tell him nothing,
hate that he believes me, picture my life with another man.
The weed garden I've planted is pointless.
I rip it out, sit in the dirt, enjoy the ache in my jaw.
A friend ignores my counsel and marries for the fourth time.
I build a cold wall and dedicate it to his new wife.
I pull gray hairs from my head, wonder if they taste like salt,
study my hand as moves toward my mouth, choke and eat more.
I think to take a walk outside, tend to the weeds
Now revived. I sip a beer, light a cigarette, ignore them.