April is National Poetry Month. Really. And you thought Congress was gridlocked!
I know it may be difficult to pay attention to poetry with all the important political news buzzing around us, and all the important actions that we must take and important things we must say. But still – poetry can also bring us news.
You are in a foreign country
--smells of garlic, sweat, goats,
perfumes like rotting pears. Almond
eyes take your measure. Gutteral
babble, diphthongs, liquids,
the rise of pitches and eyebrows,
all too fast. Brown hands tug
at your coat
when clear as sunlight
you hear her voice reach out from
the polyglot tangle to sing
you the cool cadences, familiar
surprises, the green music of your own
language, to pull you stunned, happy, home.
Invited to Jim's this bright
Saturday, we men lift boxes,
pack the truck: bed-frames,
the tv with a rat-cord
dragging, the oak table I want,
book-shelves with dust-lines,
a stuffed chair turned up-
In this morning's
lack of women we exchange
stories of moving--marriages,
divorces, deaths of spouses,
money coming or going, kids
leaving for school, a great
buy near work, near a lake,
or just a change like air
after a long meeting.
smile across the couch, angle
out through a door. Our steps
adjust. We grab a cabinet,
haul it to the truck, pause
to shift our grips, heft
it up to a man who knows
where each thing goes.
The Curse of the Werewolf made Phillip
afraid to sleep alone.
Even on living room tv
our Saturday afternoon yawning
his big brother yelling Sit down Phee
too much was too much.
and explained that the werewolves
were not real, that stories are stories
that blood is not blood, and that teeth
are not teeth only plastic like Jeff's,
and he agreed, yes, it made sense
but (sorry, Dad, still...) the moon shone
just outside. Full is full.
must lie in the movie. I shrugged
and fetched his Defenders revolver
said to him knowing how true
was this truth that the gun was loaded
with his silver bullets especially
good against werewolves.
with his gun by his pillow. The moon
moved away from the house and by morning
had paled. Keep the bullets for later.