Apr/May 2010 Poetry


by Sue Payne


The trees are maracas in the hands of a wind-advisory day.
I think about that old oak downed across Ham Branch Creek,
its roots upturned like clean bones. I think about furniture:

How still it sits. How uncommunicative it is. Except that
Meredith Vieira's on TV asking Mark Wahlberg "How does it feel
to reinvent yourself so many times?" And I decide to put that in

this poem, along with the tawdry brown florets of cauliflower
rotting in the vegetable drawer. And the steady breath
of the light above the kitchen sink—the one I constantly burn

just like my mother did after my father left. Dangerously close
to writing the same poem again, I attend instead to the clink
of the dishes shifting in the drainer and the toilet's wild flush,

which gets louder the longer I am alone. I could play Solitaire
right now: one-two-three flip, one-two-three flip, until no moves
are left. Or I could make another long list of things to do

and try to do them. 1. Write poem. The mountains knuckle up
against the sky.
I congratulate myself for that lively verb, and
search for something else to say about the natural world. Birds

could enter here; flowers, too. And the sweet good luck of a soft
rain. Oh, and that wind, menacing the trees. The power surges.
My laptop flickers. I hit "Save" as if it could really save me.


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