Today's poem is by William Stobb


It shouldn't be rare, this ability
to sit quietly in history, a statue
of St. Francis tucked among woody
trunks of old lilac—a kind of
dopey looking saint my sister gave me
after her husband quit the ministry
left her with the girls
and became an architect over in Ames.
On today's date, a comedian
and a salesperson of air time
are divorcing down my block.
Their teenage daughter fronts a punk band
so collapse immediately becomes chorus.
A looming cloud formation
threatens my biking plans, as distant nail guns
fasten down roofs. Prayer,
an idea, circles like birds
as a breeze sets the chime.
Two translucent insects hover
above irregular stalks of grass
and two families down the alley
have lost sons in the war.
Dagen Marty tells me
"if you're not afraid of death
you're afraid of fear."
And I hate the anger
that spilled out of me yesterday
when I yelled at my children for simple carelessness.
Marty's trying to help me
regain my composure but I think I
pretend, mainly, to understand my motives.
In the popular stories Betsy writes
which I've been reading this morning
in a plastic chair that will outlive me,
the emotional life, inflected
by the brightness of wit,
puts its arm around the intellect
and leads it back inside.

Copyright © 2015 William Stobb All rights reserved
from Colorado Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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