Friday, December 31, 2010

The Twice-Bent Tree

The first time I bought a tree, spouseless
I found it morbid
There were so many casualties
None ideal
The kids and I inspected each victim like bodies in a morgue 
Air so cold my eyeballs stung in the twilight--
And after we had argued about, passed over
Rejected and otherwise not chosen a truck load
This one remained
The pine the Lord had put in the center of the parking lot
Overpriced, stale and lonely
Albeit lusty-green, coifed and now: ours--
I stood dispassionate as the attendant
Laid it on the table, subjecting barely-released limbs
To straight jacket once more--
Sent the children indoors--
While we bungeed the spoil to the roof
Like a tourniquet for the dying--
Sent them inside
To a room smelling of cider
Though cider was nowhere to be found,
Just Styrofoam, powdered chocolate
And a cashier’s scolding over spilt water—
All the way home
To thwart the certain garage-tree collision
I sang a dirge with cocoa-scalded tongue
Substituting “Remember to Park in the Driveway”
For “The Farmer in the Dell”--
Then banished our lifeless cargo to the corner
For the night--
To see it huddled there
Undressed, misshapen
I winced--
How curved the trunk was
Beneath those shaved branches
Quite a flawed specimen
Twice-bent really
A tree no mother-in-law could love--
Expectations axed at every level
Error on display
I braced for execution--
Tossed peeved and fitfully all night
Mind full of an oversight
Surpassing my late father-in-law’s own curved-trunk gaffe
Who could be forgiven because he was British, well-off
And, ultimately, bright--
How the tree managed to stay upright
In the stand the next morning
Without wire or walls
Lord only knows—
Hung, methinks, by a mercy
Both sin,
And stupidity

Good Things Come in Odd Packages

I am melon--fresh, sunshiny, out-of-the-ordinary, optimistic, sweet & juicy, nutritious and fun. I make people smile, warm them inside and bring the whole glow of the sun to their cheeks. I make everything beautiful just by being me. I am a summer day on a patio with all the time in the world for you. I make heavy, tired, bloated souls feel bouyant. I make mourners dance. I am melon.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Perhaps this summer I shall see the bear

This summer I shall see the bear
About whom I am agnositic
I wish to believe
I felt the maternal growl up the logging trail
On the 4th day of our honeymoon
Spied her droppings on the tilted trail beside the lake
Passed her plaited brush on solitary walks
Heard of birdfeeders toppled and
Door knobs opened
Yet I'm uncertain
Perhaps, this summer I shall see the bear
The others have
And believe