Today's poem is by Gary Soto


That's it, I think. Everyone I knew turned
And collapsed into piles of salt,
The stuff of hypertension and thirst.
The phone is dead, the wife gone,
The cat in the tree. I think of a friend
Who knew something of sodomy:
It smells. I think of a novelist
Who punished his #2 pencil
With bites: the story is heavy
As lead. I pull a book
From the shelf, push it back in.
It's this activity, book
After book, that leads finally
To my lunch of a dry sandwich,
A pickle that I view strangely
As an olive branch. What kind
Of peace am I looking for?
I eat lunch, pace the living room
And tap the window—
My cat in the tree, you know.
He turns and for a second
I think he's dissolved into salt.
But no, he's just leaped from
The tree, feather in
His whiskers. I drink water
And I recall that the Bible
Has a story for me. I stare
At the phone and know
There's prophet in there
Preaching his message.
When it finally rings,
I pick up the phone
And think it's Mark or Luke,
Rachel or possibly Isaiah,
Saints and the nearly saintly,
Those who used to call me.
I lick the point of my pencil,
Ready to take notes, and answer,
"Hello, hello, is it one of you?"
I pound the phone against my palm
And the salt of their dead lives
Pours from the little holes.

Copyright © 2006 Gary Soto All rights reserved
from Crazyhorse
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

Support Verse Daily
Sponsor Verse Daily!

Home    Archives   Web Monthly Features    About Verse Daily   FAQs  Submit to Verse Daily   Publications Noted & Received  

Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 Verse Daily All Rights Reserved