®

Today's poem is by James Cihlar

Undoing

Unfamiliar with the logic of the physical world,
As a kid I did not understand repair.

My mother warned,
If you break that lamp

We canít replace it, but I couldnít believe her.
The world canít be that stingy,

Not the same world of tulips erupting from bulbs,
Moths emerging from cocoons, smooth upholstery

Cradling my cheek in the backseat of my fatherís Chevy
Driving back roads to supper clubs, cornflake-crusted

Fried chicken, doughy dinner rolls, so much food
I had to push the plate away. There must be

A scientific process by which something broken
Can be restored entirely, the mistake undone, nothing lost.

Today a commercial tells me that a fire in one room
Can damage a whole house. A woman drapes a shawl

Over a space heater and it announces flames.
I have littered the past year with anxiety,

And it is spilling over into the rest of the house.
Taking it on, my cat breaks a figurine on the vanity.

Make it like it never happened, the commercial promises.
Even if I glued the shards together, I would comprehend

The fissures webbing the porcelain, the pressure points of weakness,
Which is my undoing.

Having broken many things
In my life, I have grown to accept

We could undo anything if only we could forget.



Copyright © 2008 James Cihlar All rights reserved
from Undoing
Little Pear Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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