World Abuzz

In the kitchen, I make a grocery list.

Windows flung open,

cats bake in the sun outside.

The air  around me hums.

Cats run in,

bones in my head vibrate

in circles.

A hummingbird is in the house.

Whirring overhead, beak clicking

into glass, whirring, clicking.

Crouching

I crawl to the door, open it

hoping.

Zipping out, it perches atop the maple next door.

An Offering

Conversation swirls around the bloodmobile,

an iodine swab cleans my arm.

Phlebotomists discuss lunch

over my head as my blood drips

into a plastic bag.

“Vietnamese, Chinese, what’s the difference. Soup.”

I chew on a poem Sharon Olds wrote.

I suck and savor, pull the marrow

out of its bone

with my mouth,

Slide her words

over my tongue.

Spicy

Father’s Old Blue Cardigan by Anne Carson

Now it hangs on the back of the kitchen chair

where I always sit, as it did

on the back of the kitchen char where he always sat.

I put it on whenever I come in,

as he did, stamping

the snow from his boots.

I put it on and sit in the dark.

He would not have done this.

Coldness comes paring down from the moonbone in the sky.

His laws were a secret.

But I remember the moment at which I knew

he was going mad inside his laws.

He was standing at the turn of the driveway when I arrived.

He had on the blue cardigan with the buttons done up all the way to the top.

Not only because it was a hot July afternoon

but the look on his face–

as a small child who has been dressed by some aunt early in the morning

for a long trip

on cold trains and windy platforms

will sit very straight at the edge of his seat

while the shadows like long fingers

over the haystacks that sweep past

keep shocking him

because he is riding backwards.

A Human

We talk of her origins, humble.

Her election to power, the riots,

songs inspired by unbending ways.

The Iron Lady, not a token,

No, she would not go gentle

into night.

 

We avert our eyes in her latter years,

descent to dementia, the fading.

Iron won’t bend, but melts.

Did she gaze in the glass at her softened face,

Cling to mettle or release her hold? Did she

Rage, rage against the dying of the light?