The Globes

Night is
the fluttering shadow of a moth,
the impulsive kick
of a tiny foot
inside her belly.

Can’t get up
to shoo the insect.
Can’t prevent the baby
from doing what it wants.

The moth flies easily.
She is cumbersome.
More like the furniture.

It scrapes against the window,
soaked in moonlight,
anxious to be free.

The moth’s drawn by one globe.
She’s beholden to another.

February, Home at Last

Everything’s frozen over
except for the marsh
which is more chemicals
than water anyhow.

And the trees can’t find
their shawls,
while doing their best
to convince me
that death is not real death.

Once in the house,
warmth locks the doors,
a fire roars, distances itself
from what’s going on outside.

Living, once subtracted from,
is now multiplied,
with one log, then another,
all to the tenth power.

A Bird of a Different Feather

I set her caged bird free.
Fly away. Fly away.
How could I watch
the birds roost in
the high branches,
flit from tree to tree,
or simply soar on the breezes
and then return to her apartment
when one poor specimen
pecked all day
at its seeds, its water, its bars.

The damn thing didn’t go far.
Fly away. Fly away.
It sat on the window ledge,
twisted its head
so that its small dark eye
was pointed in my direction.
It was asking me
to define this freedom
that I seemed to want for it so much.
I mentioned the roosting,
the flitting, the soaring.
It didn’t move.

I tried to shoo my feathered prisoner.
Fly away. Fly away.
But it merely hopped back inside the room,
from the back of a chair,
looked longingly at its cage.
So I picked it up,
placed it back inside its cell,
and closed the door.
I filled its food and water dishes
and left.

I tried to set her caged bird free.
But that creature preferred
imprisonment with her
to freedom with everybody else.
I am a bird of a different feather.
But that too is what I’m up against.
Fly away, fly away, forget it.

The Newspaper

It’s a few sheets of paper
divided into sections.

It shares my morning coffee,
appreciates a spill or two

in its direction.
Considering how

close it is to death,
it doesn’t look its age.

But I start at the obituary page,
expecting to find

the Journal there somewhere.
But no, it’s just the usual faces,

The rest is all
what gets us to the end:

pols and murderers,
celebrities and warmongers,

sportsmen and conmen.
Some sob stories, too.

Ordinary people just getting by
who somehow manage

to gather up the family
and grin at the camera.

The newspaper’s not
what it was, of course.

It’s been superseded
by the internet,

the cell phone, cable television—
that is, everything and nothing.

The news is
what anybody says it is.

And people don’t die much
in any of those media.

Who, but me, cares
about the passing of strangers.

Who, but me, still thinks
the newspaper’s not one of them.


image: Pixabay