Today's poem is by David Koehn

Manes Gossiping, Overheard

I can never remember when any of them are.
I see the two of them as getting along
In the long term—though even love is feeling

The pain of that theory Across several folks
I talked with the idea: this small thing could turn
Into a larger, more positive force if we

Get more involved. Hidden is a great word.
I'm not sure it could have been any other way.
Shhh, they hear our voices coming from somewhere.

We know you are there. Yes, I slipped the real estate
Deal from Ohio into your dreams last night. Yes,
The Delta flight from Cincinnati was eventless.

That's our nature, you can only try to direct things
Your direction: but the greater community
Makes it happen: the bottle cap under the bare

Foot, the snake in the rafters, the chance meeting
Of lost loves discovering in each other's stories
How the gnarled roots of the alder aside the sidewalk

Overgrew and confused the yard and the skeleton
Of a bicycle, their conversation turning to the vinculum
Of what they call their fate, turning to the question

Of how to unsnarl themselves from the grip
Of two decades. Keep your eyes peeled for little things.
Typically, we point this out to you, incident by incident,

And you reply We're evolving as fast as possible.
The issue is not that you are pointing to nonexistent problems:
The issue is that your diction and phrasing indicates

A disdain, real or perceived, for your own desires.
We have a reverse tenure system, the newly dead
Have the most pull. I don't expect you to understand.

The veterans are queued up on the return shuttle. Tell
Your friends to wave hello to them on their way here.

Copyright © 2014 David Koehn All rights reserved
from The Carolina Quarterly
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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