Brake for Poetry
I never brake for poetry,
And it often makes no sense
Like a math problem
Where you don’t know the formula.
Besides poets fling random words together
Just hoping they’ll rub up meaning.
I mean, really, I have places to go
And mostly, if I don’t get focused
I’ll barely get my teeth brushed.
Poetry could end the world as I know it,
Which is the problem.
Sometimes the smallest phrase
Will leap at me,
Like hitchhikers jumping in my back seat
Unasked at a traffic light,
And won’t let go.
I have to ride the quatrain
Breathe the metaphor,
Rhythm the meter
And usually get thrown out
At a rest stop in Cleveland,
Utterly poetry jacked.
From petty laps and petting on demand
They streamed from their doorways
A conference of canines
Meeting, sniffing, barking
Raising a leg here and there in celebration
But most of all trotting to roam.
They ran down Main Street
Turned left on Franklin
Barking their rough liberties to the traffic signals.
Some of them could be seen
Getting haircuts in the big barber’s chair
They would have all gotten in
If the door had been opened just a wee bit more.
But the little ones squeaked through
And squealed, yapping at each other
From one barber chair to the next.
They all felt the day.
How important it was.
And the opportunities
To bark politics and sniff genitals.
This very day.
Talk about the weather
I wag my tail on sunny days
Rainy ones can be a drag.
As for food
I’d rather have my master
Feed me than get it myself
I’m no chef and I’m not much
Of a shopper either.
I do like TV.
Unusual in a dog, I know
But this is a golden age
I hate to miss even one Modern Family.
In fact, I’m religious about it.
Other things: The sex is good when it’s there,
And you can’t beat napping in the sunshine.
Once in awhile I’ll have to perform
But mostly they leave me be.
I’m an animal on an animal planet
That’s the way it should be
What could be better?
The top dogs worry and war
And wade into the mud to their knees to catch fowl,
I’m happiest asleep and dreaming
Of better times and places
Simple pleasures are best
Not brain surgery.
I don’t remember.
Feel the air.
No. Too cold.
Not as cold.
I don’t want to.
Baby steps. Come on.
Let me sleep. I really need to sleep.
Remember last year?
You don’t remember last year?
You were verdant, alive, glorious. You met each day, rain or shine, singing. You waved in the wind and made food from the sun. It was absolutely heavenly.
Yes it was. There were so many of you I was completely clothed. Kingly. But I can’t do it alone.
You need me?
I do. I really, really do.
What do I have to do again?
Just feel the warmth. The promise of warmth. The warmth that will be there soon. The rest will take of itself.
I’ll think about it.
If I want to.
Think about the sun. That’s all.
It’s out today.
It’s been awhile.
The wind is cold.
Only for a moment.
Then the sun?
What happened last year?
You were brave. You held your heads up and greened the world. I’m gonna be honest with you, you had a lifetime of challenge every day, but it was worth it. You were intrepid.
Will it be too hard?
No, you’ll grow to meet it.
I’m one size bigger than I was yesterday.
You see? How do you feel?
Better. Pretty good.
You’re making food from the sun and you don’t even know it.
Yes. Don’t you feel it?
You and I.
I feel it flowing.
Awesome. What’s it feel like?
Great. I feel strong and great.
Thanks to you. Your beginnings.
Must get lonely
Standing as they do
Amidst their still living brethren,
Feeling the sap rise
In their phantom branches
When Spring arrives,
The Magnolia bursting with the color of life
Maple, Chestnut, Dogwood.
Tarred and drubbed and splintery
They stand, sometimes the taller corpse
Looking down at the budding world,