A Soggy Year

When I was young, I knew when rain would fall.
It started late November every year,
in earnest, and the next two months were all
consistently precipitating. Clear
was rare – I wore no suede and had to smear
with waterproofing liquids all my boots.
This winter’s excess storminess, I fear,
is what “new normal” this year constitutes.


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The evidence could wreak hysteria.
We shouldn’t tell the public what we found –
their panic would pervade each area

where people congregate and rumors mound.
And anyway, the bioscience needs
support from governors – the funds redound

to buy campaigns and research that succeeds;
we cannot stop continuing support
for business and bureaucracy – each feeds,

and neither can afford a falling short.
And third – we can’t be seconding the claims
of wackos with whom we will not consort.

So no, we choose to view through market frames,
insisting for one thousand days, hell-bent,
on calling for a cause by other names –
and never saying “lab” or “accident.”

(Terza Rima)

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Down Time

It took some time but now we think I caught
the virus that infected both my kids,
their mates and children. Less than they, not fraught
with symptoms, my assessment just forbids
exertion, chill or company. The thought
of leaving home repels. I’ll rest eyelids
and legs and I won’t stimulate my brain.
Today the internet can entertain.

(Ottava Rima)

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I’ve modified behavior now and then –
eschewing sugar, cannabis, the pills.
And I’ve received congratulations when
I mention or describe foregoing ills.
Self-deprecation blooms in my reply –
It wasn’t all that hard – I’d had enough,
was how I felt, I mentioned with a sigh.
Each time was like a natural end to stuff.

Last week another thought occurred to me.
Perhaps I should feel proud instead – arms raised
and visage shining out my victory,
amassing kudos, testaments well-phrased.
But truth to tell, I feel humility –
like grace has been bestowed. I am amazed.

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Continuing to disagree with what
they choose to do in landscaping out front
(I neither view nor use that garden, but
I wish they had more taste), their latest stunt
includes more agapanthus, to be blunt,
than any drought-resistant quadrant needs.
And even so, they puddled one, I grunt,
where gutter runoff drowns out even weeds.


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Diminution Notice

Alive now 16 years in widowhood,
and doing better than we thought she would
(with sedentary habits, smoking, stress,
we’ve been astounded at her heartiness,
and some opine she’s too mean for the dark –
she’ll send the Reaper packing, with a bark),
I see her start to lose herself of late.
Her talk’s compressed, her recollection’s pale.
Unwilling to attempt to cogitate,
her personality begins to fail.
She may endure, my care will carry on,
but what was a relationship, is gone.

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The station seemed unclean, as did the train
I boarded Saturday a week ago.
The weather was inclement – chilly rain.
The passengers were sodden, rags on show
and bags abundant. Homeless they appeared,
exhausted and not loud at 10 a.m.
Nobody bothered me or acted weird.
I co-existed peacefully with them.

Remarkable occurred 10 minutes in.
A guy paused in the space between the cars.
I watched him stop, turn left, and then begin
to urinate. That’s food for my memoirs,
I thought, and snapped a pic, and then felt grief:
How limited his options for relief…

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You must’ve done it – blown up a balloon,
and as you let the air whoosh out again,
you stretch to squeeze the opening, and soon
a shrieking scream escapes – an awful din.
Some laugh and others wincing then begin
to block their ears. I want you to observe
I didn’t show your kid that trick. The sin
you call impulsiveness, I don’t deserve.


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Tending to Ending

“It ends so often badly,” was the phrase.
I heard it recently, or maybe read
the syllables, but ever since it plays
recurrently, a worm inside my head,
a view I don’t dispute. In truth I dread
a bad decline. I plan to exercise
as many and as much before I’m dead,
to try to engineer a good demise.


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Eye Exam

I don’t mind eye exams, but I’d avoid
dilating drops forever if I could.
By consequential glare I am annoyed,
and though I know the doctor needs a good
look in the orb – because the likelihood
of problem is increased, by age conveyed –
for hours I won’t read the way I should.
But hey, it’s just one day, forestalling fade.


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