Today's poem is by Diane Lockward
And Life Goes On As It Has Always Gone On
Snow and then more of it and just when spring
seems possible, a blizzard leaves you powerless.
Your flowers in bud expire.
Children ring your doorbell and disappear.
Late at night, when you can't sleep, the TV asks,
Do you know where your children are?
and you say, No, or Yes, in jail.
Bees build nests under the eaves of your house.
They hunt you down and stab you many times
with their tiny switchbladeseven your lips
while you're eating a ham sandwich.
Blinded by an armful of fresh towels, you fall
down the stairs while rushing to answer the phone.
Your vertebrae shattered, that call from your lover
forever unanswered, sex forever impossible.
Something hurts your heartan odd balloon
in your chest, poofing and unpoofing,
days in the hospital hooked up to machines,
then a diet stripped of cakes and pies.
In Greece poppies cover the islands in spring,
scarlet flowers waving like silk scarves.
People in kouzinas eat poppy seed cakes
and speak of Demeter, how she devoured
the black seeds to fall asleep and forget
her grief over the loss of her daughter.
Outside your window, spring arrives flowerless.
Crackheads move in next door.
Your dog dies from a poisoned meatball.
Are you looking for compensation?
A rabbit nibbling the grassdoes that console?
Does ice cream suffice? even if served
with marshmallow fluff? Delicious, but is it enough
as you lie in your hospital bed plugged to a monitor
and dreaming of sex, the little red pumping
machine of your heart opening like a poppy in bloom?
Copyright © 2016 Diane Lockward All rights reserved
from The Uneaten Carrots of Atonement
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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