Today's poem is by Elton Glaser

Low and Delicious

      —the fire, the sweet hell within,
The unknown want, the destiny of me.

                    —Walt Whitman

This morning, even the roses look morose,
More elegy than awe. And yet,
The sun holds up its end of the bargain, rays
Gliding the grass and the green thorns,
Midas with a clumsy touch, until
Everything we love grows stiff and cold.
But that's spring for you, late spring,
Like a man with no sense of humor
Making jokes, and the hand-me-down eye
Always sizing up the day
One season behind the evidence.
So charity begins in misgiving, or ought to;
So faith and hope have their own ambitions,
Sucking up to the absolute: the eternal
Spawned by desperation, sweet nothings
Whelped out of fear. Or perhaps,
With an ear for anger, a nose for
The rituals of rot, I'm just too good
At writing the strophes and catastrophe,
Scriptures in a pickled idiom
For the slow torment of the middle class,
When all I really want is
A plate of bacon in a fracas of eggs
At some little diner in Hinckley, Ohio,
Where every year, before the blood warms,
The buzzards come home to roost.

Copyright © 2005 Elton Glaser All rights reserved
from Here and Hereafter
University of Arkansas Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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