Waiting Room

in the waiting room
beyond the waiting room
sitting in our smocks
a sickly shade of green
like fidgety children
in ill-fitting hand-me-downs

a nurse steps in
to announce the next name
and we all look up at once
each with our separate stories
but in this moment the same
somebody steps forward
and they disappear down the hall
where the scanning machines drone
like a gathering of witches
chanting incantations

my attention returns
to the dust motes riding
a surprising line of sunlight
from a crack in the curtains
to the floor at my feet

and just for a moment
something feels right about
extending my leg just enough
to let my foot rest in the light

Advertisements

Use Metaphors to Describe Your Depression

Lincoln published poems in the Springfield paper
dripping with daggers and cries in the dark

Styron filled books with treacherous weather
howling tempests; horrific gray drizzle

for me it’s a dime store black plastic mask
I wore as a child on Halloween
the kind with the two impractical nose holes
and unreliable thin rubber band
I was thrilled by the concept of being anonymous
but just couldn’t get enough breath

 

Aqua Lingua

Leaf

even the leaf
falling without a sound
from branch to earth
when its time arrives
will catch a current and
at the last moment linger
a matter of millimeters
from earth as if to say
perhaps I can still go back

what are my chances
of going gracefully                                                                             

I came forward like a song.

Caught this by chance browsing the poets.org website, and it moved me.


Duet

by Duy Doan

She had me in the car. I came forward like a song.
We did it before temple, after temple, between prayers.
The windows echoed her mantras, our cries warmed the air.
Two peaks merged, then sank below the clouds.

We did it before temple, after temple, between prayers.
Her stomach began to show and people asked us not to come.
Two peaks merged, then sank below the clouds.
Night and day, everything was changing.

.   .   .   .   .  

Her stomach began to show and people asked her not to come.
My mother was all alone when I was born.
Night and day. Everything was changing.
The radio started playing rhythm and blues.

My mother was all alone when I was born—
The windows echoed her mantras, our cries warmed the air,
The radio started playing rhythm and blues.
She had me in a car. I came forward like a song.

 

To the Young Who Want to Die – Gwendolyn Brooks

Gwendolyn Brooks was a rare kind of poet — able to speak volumes, artfully, in common language. If we need poetry at all — and I, for one, do — this is the kind we need. We need poetry that reaches out; poetry that makes of itself an offering; poetry that fosters connection. This poem does that better than most.


Sit down. Inhale. Exhale.
The gun will wait. The lake will wait.
The tall gall in the small seductive vial
will wait will wait:
will wait a week: will wait through April.
You do not have to die this certain day.
Death will abide, will pamper your postponement.
I assure you death will wait. Death has
a lot of time. Death can
attend to you tomorrow. Or next week. Death is
just down the street; is most obliging neighbor;
can meet you any moment.

You need not die today.
Stay here–through pout or pain or peskyness.
Stay here. See what the news is going to be tomorrow.

Graves grow no green that you can use.
Remember, green’s your color. You are Spring.


 

Winter Walk

between the frozen field

and the sudden patch of birches

I love to hear a cardinal whistle

says my father

apropos of everything


Happy Father’s Day, Dad!