A Public Sphere for Poetry, Nature, and Politics
the words we didn’t say
I take a bite of my lunch
silence sour and salt
This afternoon I sit on my porch, proud of all I’ve won, thinking of my poor days and how, at my age, the middle class doesn’t look as bad from the inside as it does from the outside. When a mockingbird, all balls on wings, flashes up at my snack, snags a berry, and flies off with an “Own that, asshole!” attitude.
Yesterday I spent the day grading final exams, doing the math, praying some day some kid sends me her first symphony. I opened my bag lunch, pulled out a wing, when it dawns on me that it all comes down to an empty belly, a body part, that saying Grace, for this critter, is the same as its Black Mass.
Which is to say that this morning I found a Mass card for an old friend dead now 17 years. I don’t know where the time went sitting here all afternoon. We’ve spent our days, my friends, lost in all the forms, pouring the concrete we hope will never dry, draining the swamp, filling the coffin, being the blank screen, praying like a priest who needs to be defrocked, praying for a vision or at least something to catch the eye.
Finally evening and I unlatch the front door, wait for the sound of the leaves beneath her feet. Meaning it comes down to this. Nothing goes away. Even in the darkness, we can write about the light.
late night candlelight
city power grid is down
in the indigo
a silhouette – our neighbor
nursing her child
Copyright 2017 John Samuel Tieman