Like Old Times

Senior Citizens Find That New Ulm, Minnesota, ...

She’s knitting another scarf, like all
the previous ones. We would call it a day,
and be done with it until tomorrow.
But she’s so bound to the safe anchor of sameness,
any deviation, like pouring cereal
before her morning’s coffee, it becomes like
she dropped a stitch somewhere,
a purl before a knit stitch, and the scarf,
her smoothly knitted day,
would just flat out unravel.

He nibbles at the same meal over two nights,
but he will slowly consume the entire newspaper
over the course of each day.
As if his mind’s teeth were in a glass,
he inexorably gums A-1 through the obits.
Obits always first, though.
That will never happen to me, you say.

She sits all day and waits for a call,
and when you call, she says you’re
the only one who has. And then you listen
to pretty much the same rap as yesterday’s
and the days’ before that. Meanwhile,
the news channel’s booming in the background
up to the Led Zep levels of your youth.

You shake your head. But tonight
you’ll place your slippers (slippers!?) just-so
next to your bed and set the alarm
for that same time, for that same rush,
to that same job you’ve said for ten years
you can’t wait to retire from so you finally
can do what you want, but likely will be
the same thing day after day. You know,
like will never happen to you. Says you.

©Joseph Hesch 2012

Linked to dVerse Poets Pub Open Link Night.


Jacques Plante, 1944 - 1945 / Shawinigan Falls...

Jacques Plante, 1944 – 1945 / Shawinigan Falls, Quebec (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I know they’re over there, the new folks.
I can hear their little dog wailing,
smell their wood fire smoking.
Their odd bit of fence ensures
our mutual exclusivity.

Where once I could see sunsets kiss
goodnight the far treetops, a demi-MacMansion
and two-panel length of stockade fence,
just wide and high enough, block leafy horizon,
the only view I care about out back.

The fence reminds me of a stand-up goalie,
isolated, moving forward out of his crease
to appear bigger than he really is and block
sight of his goal. If that’s their goal…
well played.

I’m sure, like Frost’s abutting stone-stacker,
the idea of the fence gives a feeling of masked,
tall and suburban Jacques Plante-ness.
I feel the diminution of my view of Nature
and ancient memory of what neighbors were.

I’m thinking of planting a new sun kissing tree.
Deke right, head fake up, wrister. Five hole.


These Eyes

English: a hand holding unidentified white pills

They stare at me each morning,
the doleful white, yellow and pink
ovals and circles that allegedly
see to keeping me happy and alive.
Unfortunately they aren’t doing the former,
and at times because of that,
equally unfortunately, are doing the latter.

I would take in a bigger batch of them,
filling my hand like a loser
holding but one ace,
but I’d probably pull nothing more than
three, seven, nine, Jack,
a splitting headache and
wrenching nausea for the effort.

I remember a time when I felt happy
and alive and didn’t worry about
holding or being held in the gaze
of such pale, jaundiced and sleepless eyes
as these glaring at me as I lean
against the shower-steamed mirror
above the bathroom sink.

They were a lovely shade of blue,