I’m sorry I said NO
all those times
diminishing yr world
I could have done better
withholding affection is a crime
against the human heart
I think of fragile Dennis when someone needles me,
and toughen up.
He let the jibes get to him;
He closed down the fun house of his world view,
changed his clown shoes for cement boots.
He was heavy as Hamlet,
& wouldn’t read his wonderfully quirky poems out any more
because people were telling him,
they were weak.
They were a little childish but
they weren’t weak.
Poets are supposed to care for each other.
I wish some people would close up like zippers.
They gave me a number to phone
And when I phoned that number —
When I eventually got through —
They gave me two more numbers
With even longer waiting times,
But they all said the same thing,
tone deaf to reason and compassion,
the Shylocks of bureaucracy.
Whichever way you turned
You got the same answer.
They had it all sewn up.
You were already in prison
Behind bars intransigent as iron.
- photo by Damir Spanic on Unsplash
On a road trip the other day
we got talking about birth marks
and how you never see them any more
then at the airport
I saw this barista
with a mulberry stain on his face.
I had to ask him,
is that a real birth mark? I asked
we were talking about them
and how you never see them anymore.
Yes, he smiled
as if it were just another feature
on his face
like a mole or scar.
It looked almost beautiful.
Then he made me the greatest cup of coffee.
Thank you, I said
glad that I had asked him
and didn’t wuss out.
It’s okay to be curious.
is anyone else fascinated by birth marks ?
what would you have done?
Stephanie was out in the garden, chasing chooks out of the vegetable patch. She was some way from us, out on the back porch, so I was surprised that she responded to something I said.
“Yes. I remember when …” and then her voice seemed to get swallowed up.
”What’s that?” I said.
But she stood there helplessly waving her hands as if signalling to us to disregard what she had to say and to carry on our conversation. We did and when my friend left, Stephanie came over and sat beside me.
“What happened out there?” I asked. “Out in the garden?”
“What I was about to say got swallowed up,” she said.
“Like in a sinkhole?” I said. They had been in the news lately.
“Like in a sinkhole.”
“It’s all right,” I said. “Tell me when you remember.”