Today's poem is by Peter Neil Carroll


I see it coming like a banner. First light
cracks past the blinds, raindrops
from a midnight shower release
their grip, vaporize, disguise.

After you live here a while, you learn
warm air rising draws in
clouds that linger all night
over the sea. The gray shadow
standing still soon reveals
it's the front of deception. Look again.
The darkness approaches, rain battering glass
before the coffee's brewed.

To read the newspaper, I turn on the lights—
but what's the point? A front-page photo shows
a Chinese ambassador shaking hands
with the secretary of state; below the fold
archeologists unearth a skeleton
near a village in Kenya.

Electric sky, rain pattering in metal gutters,
I enjoy the ragged music. Not for long.

By noon, everything changes again.
The ambassador pinches his smile, old bones,
exposed to air, begin to yellow. The sun is out.

I visit the mailbox, looking for a letter
that never comes, and return with a grocery Byer
offering five pounds of potatoes for a dollar,
red strawberries that won't be ripe.

The weather's my lame excuse. Spring nudges
open the doors, but I stay in the kitchen. I can stay
all day. My mother was like that.
It's what frightens me.

Copyright © 2016 Peter Neil Carroll All rights reserved
from Southern Humanities Review
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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