Wednesday, December 5, 2007

New Poem

California Sand

(Five Months)

I count sheep white as sedatives and learn to bake bread.
I stop taking sleeping pills and wake in the night,
terrified of dreams I can't recall. Something about China,
traveling again, moving out onto a road with all the resources
to burn the close space of my departure into the pavement.
Instead I turn back to the refrigerator and find carrots,
open another bottle, dance the silly self-conscious jig
I could never dance for you, a loneliness that advertises itself.
After dinner I drive with our nieces to the movie store.
We make popcorn and repeat the same few jokes,
"Luke, that's your sister!" or "Luke, that's your dad!"
They know the story, the effects are dated, the new
storyline of reconciliation is not yet mapped out.
By bedtime the galaxy is once again made safe.
Ed comes downstairs and says these are magical times,
so many good things happening in the day-to-day,
a few that I enjoy even if they don't remind me of you.
It's how we get by, his optimism and my isolating
the things I did and did not do well beside you.
On the nightstand a bottle of pills readies for expiration,
exaggerating the shapes of numbers disappearing hours at a time.
In the morning the sun is bright and the cold mattress
hardening on one side makes an empty space
while the room, once I recognize it, rises like a dough.


Good Ole Girls said...

Geez John, I really like your title. Where'd you come up with that?

Ky said...


I'm so sorry I haven't written in a while. I love this one and "the new beautiful". Your turn of phrases are so unexpected, and yet so familar, as if I should have known them already.



Anonymous said...

This work is so beautiful and poignant.

Don said...

Hi, John, This poem gives me a feeling for the betwixt and between kind of state you must be inhabiting. The "warm bread" gives me a feeling of life and hope, and the expiration date on the pills is, I guess, a reminder of the need for some extra help in this time. Hang in there! See you, Don