Poetry: Sarah J. Sloat
Aunt Bobbie’s Almanac
If your palm itches, choose sixes.
If your wrist itches, it’s not because
Empty your head for clarity,
then abandon all desire for clarity.
To ward off fever, twist your mustache.
A mustache is bad luck enough.
Whistle in the kitchen
and marry a man who beats you.
and you won’t know love at all.
To achieve your dearest wish
cross your fingers,
all your fingers;
keep them crossed
until they fall off.
There’s So Much Sunday
There’s so much Sunday
in Saturday, so much cud and pulver,
so much stooping over to offer alms
to the asthma haunting
the apartment, unknowing
what motors the tick
in sitting with mother
letting her love her beloved
Renoir, sitting in side-buttoned
boots and half-excuses
when nothing is running
nothing is plugged in
nothing up nothing doing
so much Sunday boring the cornea
with the gist of lemon oregano
day fraught with doilies and porcelain
coffee cup rings crippling
Sunday the unending understudy
Sunday too much in itself
On Waking I Think of Winter
mostly because my legs jut like a long
pier out over waves
in the dark’s oceanic pitch
I think of winter when my husband snores across
the expanse of bed, tundra-vast
because children insist on visiting
papoose, bear cub, eskimo: wool
blanket curled below their throats
and I wake like Jack London, only less
bearded, less brave, though the brown kiss of a dog
where just moments ago I was steeped in
sleep, hallucinating a daisy-faced spring
I think of winter because of dreams redressed by cold
and startling alarms, because I have no idea
how to go on
and I think of winter as I always do at dawn
and always did, before I guessed
what winter was