January 19, 2018

anna

Anna Yanni was born 22 days after my father in 1931.

She never had a Christmas morning where-as the only child

The room would be full of gifts for the gift.

She never played in the yard or worked in her grandfather’s garden.

She didn’t go to school.

Never acted in the high school production of Best Foot Forward,

Never went to art school-never drew a thing.

Didn’t spend 18 years in the Army Reserves

Pushing and being pushed.

Never worked,

Never laid a brick.

Didn’t marry, raise children,

Worry, love, be paralyzed by fear.

Be proud, prideful or exult.

Yell!

Work, play, fish

Have friends, have family,

Watch the Steelers,

Live, love, laugh, drink,

Die at home.

Maybe that last. Probably.

For 16 days why even leave Heaven?

Who booked her on that cruise?

Who was little Anna sent to serve

Or to save?

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Rapeseed Oil

Twice this month alone

I’ve read poems that allude to

Rapeseed oil.

Two different poets writing about different things.

Once, I could see.

Twice?

Or do poets all write about the same thing?

If so, what’s with the rapeseed oil?

What did I miss? Why didn’t I hear about it?

I’ll stop with the poetry for a while.

A third would be too much.

Across the way the cat pads at his bed

For what seems like hours with that stupid face he gets.

Drives me nuts until I throw a pillow at him and scream for him

To stop.

He hisses and stomps up the stairs, each loud creak

Echoing through the house.

Coffee tastes like burnt wood without half and half;

There are no more cookies and

Only ten oxys left

in the Imodium bottle in the fridge.

Enough for three days if I’m careful.

Then I have to make a move.

Radio Silence

Radio Silence

When the wind died

He could feel the silence

Pressing.

There had to be a hawk.

Birds were down-

Huddled, gone;

Death in sight.

Silence has its own sound:

Thick winter water

Trickling over pebbles

Under a shell of ice.

Cold trees cracking, breathing.

The lazy wash of his own blood

Coursing, flowing

For the time being.

 

“Hey pastor…”

Hey pastor,

Hey pastor she cried,

Runnin’ up red-eyed and blotchy

After the service.

Lookit this she said,

Opening the postcard that had been folded in her purse.

Lookit what he sent.

He’s in Wyomin’ now, she said.

Settled up on a place, she said, hissing

Giving him no time to read the note.

He’s fixin’ fence, he says, runnin’ wire and is that walkin’ horses?

What’s he know bout that? She asked,

With his rickety knees and balky hips.

He’s a townie kid like me…and I never wanted to run off like that.

What’s to become of him?

Of me?

You mustn’t worry about him, little darlin’, the pastor said leanin’ close,

Allowin’ his gaze to hungrily crawl acrost her bodice.

The lord will pervide for them such as him.

You come with me lil darlin’, he said.

I can’t tell you what he was thinkin’, but

I allus thought you were a sweet little one.

Let us git you into the back…

Git some coffee in you….

Saturday Mornings

bar2

Are you getting up?

Maybe. Christ, do I have a headache.

You almost drank a bottle of Maker’s.

Not that much.

You opened the bottle, now it’s almost gone.

Is it going to rain? Feels like my sinuses are going to blow.

Not even with water. You just swilled it!

There was ice.

Only in the first one!

Musta melted.

You drank a glass while you were asleep, I swear.

That’s ridiculous!

You were sitting there with your eyes closed, bringing the glass

To your lips.

I wasn’t sleeping!

You were snoring between swallows.

That’s ridiculous!

I took a picture-here, look. That’s whisky. That there is drool.

Do we have echinacea in the house? I might be getting a cold.

*sigh*

Vitamin C might help.

*stares*

Wonder if I have allergies…