Wednesday, October 19, 2016

In loving memory of my salad

I'm aware that salad is not finger food.
But oh, how crisply carrots crunch upon the tongue!
How delicious lettuce greenly lies!
And cucumbers --
                  to speak of cucumbers is to speak of paradise

Home seems still so far away;
Perhaps if I pick off a leaf here,
                                       a sliver there,
I can cool my parched throat
                  without doing my poor salad too much harm

All the world is bright about me,
And my heart is light as crisp cool greens
                   I'm halfway through my salad
                                       I think I ate more than it seemed

As finally I mount my doorstep,
                 Turn my key and slip inside,
                                       I set the box down on the table
                                       Ready to taste the treasure inside

I open the lid -- but what is this?
No leaf of lettuce to be found!
                  O woe! Ah me! O misery!
                  A tear wells up within my eye

I meant to take a little taste,
                  To ease my walk,
                  And yet it seems -- o dreary thought--
                                       I ate up every bite!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Unwelcome Visitor

I’m so drowsy; I need tea. Coffee!
Something with sugar and milk and caffeine
But that little dragon is curled up on my chest
digging in needle-claws
just above my heart

He loves caffeine even more than I do
He likes to take the energy my mind needs
Keep it all for himself
And I draw a breath in
I can’t let it out
he's crushing my lungs

Sometimes, if I let him feed, he grows
Then he holds captive not just my heart
Not just my lungs
But slithers his long neck and tail beneath both breasts
all the way around to meet between my shoulderblades
in a python's embrace
my ribs are cracking

I feel his heart beat scorching against mine
heat and tightness that won’t be dispelled by indrawn breath
or gasping cries
I scream sometimes
and cry
I beat my forehead on the steering wheel
and the gentle thuds do nothing to drown out
that little dragon
who whispers to my heart all the fears he reads there
“He’s mad at you”
“She’s never liked you”
“Why did you ever let them see your story?”
They hate you
They hate you
And don’t you hate you, too?