Today's poem is by JoAnn Balingit
Comfort, Cape Henlopen
As the moon set I saw a big toad smashed in the road, entrails popped from its side.
Then a smaller toad, then an even smaller toad, all flat in a line, on a road-longitude
which made me fear that someone I knewor a stranger I'd said Hello to, who'd said back
warmly Hello-had meant to kill them. That is, let a little evil scoot out. I came on two men
in silhouette at sunrise standing on top of a picnic table in morning conversation, gesturing
with coffee cups, one flicking a fly off his trunks, the other passing binoculars, both
gazing in their pauses out to sea. Friendlythey said good morningand I understood
they were studying the waves, as they understood I was studying the waves from on top
of my picnic table, for when to get our boards. They asked me if I knew what time's low tide.
Then I saw a horsefly fat as a toad, wings like guitar picks, the Horsefly Huge as Knowledge
dead in the road, and I said to me, I am glad about that. Like last night I dapped for my
Buddhist friend when she smashed a nasty, pesky fly. With her fine, fast hand. Her deft
heavy hand. Like those fishermen down there casting flies that tap the sun-glassed water.
Their lines float out flimsy as spider silk, they sail, what a wayward way back. I'm told it's
the heaviness of those linestheir dumb weight forges flight And the men's hard wrists
are supple, their delicate movements precise. They sweet-wrangle ropes into whispers.
Same way a stranger's smile, conjured up or cast off, buoys me toward comfort Goodness
or illusion of goodness? Its not for study. I say Hello. Because I cannot know, if I want
to know. And I am moving toward glad about that Last time a spider got in my car, I those
quick with a shoe. There are reasons one man brings his rockfish in, the other man lets his go.
Copyright © 2009 JoAnn Balingit All rights reserved
from Your Heart and How it Works
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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