Monday, April 26, 2010

Poem of the Week #121

The Same and Different

A year from now I will be
different. Will I be shorter?
Having long passed the age
and rage of puberty,
I certainly will not be taller.

But I might be larger—no,
not fatter, at least I hope not fatter.
I am just fat enough right now.
Curved and muscled, just right.
Well, I could lose 15 pounds.

For sure, all my outer skin cells
will be replaced. Lots of hair
will fall out and more will appear;
most of it in places I don’t want it.
My nails will grow, crack,

and be trimmed weekly. Plaque
will adhere to my teeth and then
dutifully be scraped away
by the dental hygienist.
How often do you floss?

Ear wax will form and melt.
I pray that any difference I exhibit
will be internal, metaphysical.
I want to be deeper, wider,
more complex, and yet,

simpler. I want to be
more connected to the earth
and to the rhythm of sun
and sea; made sturdier by wind
and pelting rain. I want to be

kinder; toward me, toward you.
Like the same river into which
you cannot step twice, I want
you to know I will still tumble
and flow. Me—just different.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Poem of the Week #120

For the Love of Brown

You told me I must never frown,
and learn to handle pink, but I confess,
I only ever loved the lovely shades of brown.

I grew and wondered, would I know renown?
Would princess be my name or something less?
If only I could smile and never frown.

I languished on the shore as I went down;
my kingdom on the edge, a holy mess.
And yet, I found a balm in shades of brown.

Battered on the rocks and left to drown.
I took my medicine, but what duress!
I always had been taught I must not frown.

A thought becomes a word and then a sound.
The saddest note in any chord is always blessed.
I can’t ignore the lovely shades of brown.

To hell, I say, I’m queen. I’ll wear my crown.
I do not think you know what’s best.
For though you made it seem I mustn’t frown,
I only ever loved the lovely shades of brown.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Poem of the Week #119

Your Word Is My Flesh

Take a word
any old word
and bury it in the ground.
See what kind of fruit
grows there.

Grind it up, the word,
pack it in your pipe
and smoke it.
See what dreams
encurl your dazzled head.

Your words.
Are they fine as frog’s hair,
hard as muscled thighs?
Are they barbed like wire,
sharp like knives?

Your words.
Are they whiskery pods
holding some future flower
carried into the next life
on a bird’s beak?

Your words
enter me, get under
my skin. They flow
though my veins, feed
my nerve endings.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Poem of the Week #118

Cautionary Tale

Loretta got the sofa set in 1975
but kept it in plastic all those years.
No one's bottom ever touched
the soft, white brocade.
Not even Loretta's.
When she moved to the nursing home,
the sofa, chair, and ottoman
got shipped to her brother in Iowa.
She stood on the sidewalk
outside her apartment and cried.
She would have unzipped the plastic
right then if she could,
to enjoy her couch just one time
before sending it away.
She slowly came conscious
as if from a dream, regret pouring in
to answer her repeated question:
What was I thinking?
What was I thinking?
In 25 years, I never used it.

Lisa Vihos