28 June 2008


the carriage sits in the hallway,
squat, stolid reminder in wooly navy
blue and polished chrome, the
tea draws and
she quickly counts the lump sugar by

twos into the bowl:
still here--after so many mornings
disgorged from the hellish
center of the earth, pushing always
against the press of human flesh

still here, still here, still here--
still speaking, tongue
(guarded by American teeth, wire-
molded, polished) yet unsevered

still here--after so many nights
when stars pocked the skies and
the old owl cried, who, who, who?

Who indeed? She still has no answer.

Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company

down the cool aisles, basket
tightly held in hand, harbingers of summer
closely shelved: the liquid soap to
blow rainbow orbs, the thick sticks
of chalk, the bright rubber balls,

a pile of planets, small moons,
many-hued, one for Dick, one
for Jane, and one for mother too--
these summer days are long--
our young must be amused....

waltzing down the cool aisles,
glancing past the butcher, sipping
back those words that come
entirely too quickly,
or else be told "be quiet mommy"

cash flies through the air at the
Western Union desk, through the
wires, we are surrounded by
such ordinary magic but
we tap our feet in our haste

for the baked asphalt of the playground,
the shade of leaves above benches designed for discomfort, the
water swilled from icy bottles, the
feats yet to be performed and applauded.....