Gazing at my grapefruit,
My breakfast treat today,
I see the veins mysterious
Swim in the pith they play.
In this orb of ruby flesh
I see what was once living,
A fruit that once was on a tree;
I wonder what it was feeling?
Did it feel happy as it ripened?
Sorrow when the hand of man
Came to claim it from its home,
A grapefruit in high demand?
Did this act of economics
Kill this citrus in its glory?
A cut umbilical cord of branch
Sans blood, mucus, or gory.
Now on my plate cut in half
Does this grapefruit stare back?
Fire with fire, acid with acid:
Does my stomach turn it black?
Lonesome grapefruit is no more
Sugar-sprinkled and devoured.
A carcass all that now remains,
A bud that too soon flowered.
January 15, 2018
Nature’s game of rock, paper, scissors.
Let’s call it sun, snow, rain.
Sunny summer days give way
To snow days, full of cold snow.
Spring comes afront, with warm rain,
To melt the snow and dirty heaps.
The sun dries the rain,
We’re at it again,
Until the snow starts falling.
January 12, 2018
I found you.
You weren’t hard to find.
Though I did have to pick through rubble,
Commit myself to emotional archaeology.
Fought harder than I thought.
Though you had that right to fight or flee,
You choosing neither, instead rising above.
When you could have been angry, you tried,
Tried to express yourself, what you felt inside.
There was hurt there, a scar.
A scab, pain.
Where others, though, would have pushed,
Would have lived a life of bitterness and gloom.
You resumed, talked it out.
You are good.
January 11, 2018
We thought we made it to the clearing.
The always-irony of winter:
The days after twenty days sub-twenty.
The thaw day, the day old pipes,
In an even older house,
Are expected to unfreeze and only then
Burst from the seams–Yellowstone
In a kitchen some two thousand miles
From anywhere in Wyoming.
A pooling of a different kind, but still hot–
Water pouring from somewhere unknown–
Boiling water, a hissing dishwasher,
The culprit found. A panicked me:
Call the landlord! Call the plumber!
What, no one is available? The plumber
Is backed up with dozens of the same note?
Curses! I’ve never owned a home…
But I need to go to work, what will I do?
A frenzied phoning to my father–
I always told you when I was a kid,
That you’d do all my house a’fixin’
Since like Heaney, my squat pen rests
Differently. You pick up, you listen.
You laugh. Of all things, you laugh.
In that chuckle, I know everything
Will be just fine. A water main,
Probably will be four feet off the ground,
Find a blue or green lever, turn it.
I search the basement, calm myself down,
Find a water main some four feet up,
With an aqua-green handle to pull down.
The water shuts off, the crisis is averted.
I try to thank you, but you chuckle again.
A learning experience, you call it.
Thanks for taking such a rushed call, Dad.
You made my day, he says.
Hang up, go to work; am I grateful enough for you?
January 9, 2018
Air hits skin.
Skin tries to retreat.
Realizes it is attached to muscle.
Muscles its way off the bone,
Or tries to.
But it is too rigid.
It is you.
It is cold.
Twenty or thirty below.
Your organs hate you.
They know you can go inside
Any time you would like.
This is not a survival show.
You must shovel the walkway.
So the mailman doesn’t slip.
You are so thoughtful.
Why are you so thoughtful?
It is too cold
To be thoughtful.
January 5, 2018