®

Today's poem is by Nicole Walker

Hooked and Crooked

This is a nice place so I donít think Iím supposed to be here.
Thereís a band of morning glories trailing up the mailbox

post and they invite the man who delivers home with them.
I take them by their purple heads and green them, return

their dead heads to spring. Itís not such a nice place now—
more clinical and stir-uppy. More fluorescent than flour

more causal than casual. As if casual bread would make
me apologize because even the word nice gets all clamped

up in my throat. Itís as if I swallowed the dead and their heads
and did not suffer Olympian for it. Itís as if I exchanged with,

then changed, the job postman. I donít deliver. I just pick up the checks
that sit whipping in the beyond urban boxes—they wait like tongue

depressors waving: Take me. Cash me. Drink me. Swallow.
Those checks are my ticket out of the sorry that makes this nice

not a place for me but for blued glory, pistil morning. If the bank
could just accept my deposit slip, could credit my account

with the toothsome, wholesome, butter-layered bread I could
eat my apologies. I wouldnít have to part with them. I wouldnít

have to look at them. My sorry and I could sit on the front porch
and wait for the mailman and let him bring us ads for Pantene

and Fresca and all the carnival weíve ever wanted. We could break
bread against the concrete steps. The postman, the flowers and me.



Copyright © 2007 Nicole Walker All rights reserved
from Cimarron Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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