Sunday, August 29, 2010

Poem of the Week #139

Everything After

Everything that happened
happened after
happily ever after.
Before now and then,
before time began
in a place we had forgotten.

Everything that was now
was in the ever after,
that ringing sound of laughter,
little voices in autumn sun.
Let’s go, they said, let’s run
down to the lake, it’s fun

Time is only what we think.
Thirty years go by, just blink
and you will find yourself
just here where you started,
right here where your heart is,
the spot you never parted.

We could stand alone or not,
we could blossom, we could rot,
there is no rhyme or reason.
I only know that time stands still
when I hold your hand until
the coming of the season.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Poem of the Week #138

Triolet on the Natural Order (for Owen)

Worms die of length
and elephants of width.
Do you know your strength,
worms? You die of length.
Your life force, not to shrink.
“To each his nature,” is no myth.
Worms, you die of length;
elephants, you of width.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Poem of the Week #137


You could tell that I was on the verge of tears
as you and your husband loaded the skeletal parts

of the knocked-down, maple bunk bed
into the back of your pick-up truck. You said,

It’s in really good shape and I said,
It was a good bed. That’s when you heard

my voice crack, and mother-to-mother,
you knew how I felt. You said,

I know I will feel it when I take the crib down.
I said yes, it’s hard to do these things, and I turned

so you wouldn’t see my eyes moisten. We had already
exchanged knowing glances, you and I, when your husband

was snotty to you about the large container of dirt
he had not taken out of the truck before coming over.

Your concern for the bed was making him angry
and I wondered how it was for you—being married

to someone with such a short fuse. You and I
shared the same first name, but more than that,

we connected over the sacredness of a child’s bed;
a place where night after night, the future dreams itself.

I left the four of you and turned into my new house.
Minutes later, I heard doors slam, little girls cry.

I didn’t want to look. I only wanted the bed
to go forth so we could all, at last, be happy.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Poem of the Week #136

The Natural Advantage
(from an infomercial seen while working out on the elliptical machine)

On day one, I could feel activity.
Something was working on my skin.

On day two, I felt change under the surface.
I thought, "this is good. I need this."

Day three, I could feel my pores closing.
My wrinkles were ironing themselves out.

On the seventh day, I could feel
a firmness. I was solid and glowing.

Day ten, I noticed it deepening.
I was turning to porcelain, cool to the touch.

My face took on a frozen quality, but my skin
felt nice and smooth. I was happy.

Day fifteen, I looked twenty years younger,
a gorgeous doll waiting to have my string pulled.

I looked much better (really sexy)
and all the men wanted me

because I was so beautiful
and I could not open my mouth to speak.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Poem of the Week #135

Poem from the Left

The poem I wrote with my left hand
was not what I expected it to be.
It was not covered in hairy warts
or festering boils. It did not howl
at the moon.

The poem I wrote with my left hand
surprised me because it did not smell
like old socks or fried onions.
It did not require a row of stitches.
It was not torn.

Coming as it did from the sinister side,
I thought it would be dark and smokey,
grinning at me from the corner of the room,
like a sleazy old huckster with a gold tooth
and a penchant for whiskey.

On the contrary,

The poem I wrote with my left hand
was the brightest and most weightless poem
I have ever written. It sailed off the page
with its spinnaker taut, heading for
warm waters.

Had it been a butterfly, it would have landed on
my cheek to mark my smile. Had it been a parade,
it would have handed me a baton to lead the march.
Had it been a golf ball, it would have made
a hole-in-one.

The poem I wrote with my left hand—
had it been you—would have kissed me.
It would have placed my left hand over its heart
so I could feel it pounding, calm and steady,
in my own hollow chest.

Lisa Vihos