Sunday, January 30, 2011

Poem of the Week #161

Getting to Love
Love is a plunge into darkness toward a place that may exist. —Marge Piercy

Go ahead.
Plunge early
and often.
Go as deep
and as far
as you need to.

Let nothing
stop your progress
toward that place
inside you
that may exist
in someone else.

And when you arrive
at this mythical place,
breath in and out again
and quietly know
you are there
without fanfare.

There is nothing
to say and nothing
to do, because love
does not do or undo,
say or unsay.
It just is.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Poem of the Week #160

The Other Brother

Jamal died six months ago
leaving his rat brother, Krusty,
alone in the cedar shavings
to gnaw solo on the wooden house.

Even with no one around to pummel,
Krusty bucked up, ate his colorful
pellets, found contentment
in the furry lump of self he was.

Lately, his wheezing had gotten worse
and his fur, no longer smooth and sleek
stood along his back like sweaty thorns.
He listed to one side. He stopped eating.

In his two-foot cage, Krusty
had always known the only certainty
in life is death. He is in the freezer now
and come spring, we will bury him—

not near his brother behind our old garage—
but in the park overlooking the lake.
He will know the sound of waves against the shore,
a teasing sound, one even a rat would adore.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Poem of the Week #159

Waiting For My Mammogram

It is Tuesday.
It is snowing.
I am early.
I wait in the
waiting room
of the breast
diagnostic center.
I wait for my name
to be called.
All the people
were smiling
on the way in.
On the way
into the clinic,
they were smiling.
Why is everyone
so happy?
Are they early?
Are they healthy?
It is Tuesday
and everyone
is smiling.
I take my chair.
I am early.
I have a book,
but I am not
On the table
there are magazines
They tell about
how to be fit
at 40 and fall’s
best coats.
(But it is already
winter and besides,
I am past 50.)
I am not inclined
to age-proof
my hair or mind
the suprising truth
about salt.
I am early
but I am not reading.
I am thinking
about Mary.
There are no more
Tuesdays for her.
A simple thing really,
Tuesday. We take it
for granted. Mary
was early. Death
came too early.
I did not know her.
But I knew of her.
She was waiting.
She was early.
Gabe died too,
but not of cancer.
He came to hear
a lecture on Tuesday
and then, he died
on Wednesday.
I knew him a little,
from English Lit.
He rode
a motorcycle.
But that is not
how he died.
His heart stopped
while he was reading
in his chair one night.
In the morning,
he was dead.
He was not ready.
He was not waiting.
He did not know
he would die,
at least, not
on a Wednesday.
Today is Tuesday.
It is snowing.
I am early.
I am waiting
for my name
to be called.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Poem of the Week #158

To Those Who Stand Too Close
(for MK)

There is a physical law
that governs the proper distance
a man should stand when talking

to a woman. Don’t get in her face, okay?
She can hear you without your chin
so close to her nose. Proximity

of eyeballs is not required to be understood.
You personal space invaders
should take a giant step back.

She will be more inclined to listen
if you acknowledge where your space ends
and hers begins.

Lisa Vihos

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Poem of the Week #157


Short Love Story

It was dumb luck
that brought us together
and dumber luck
that tore us apart.

Slower and Lower

(the way that Jesus went)
on an ass
low to the ground
close to the children

Truth Spoken By My Son

Worms die of length,
elephants of width.

On the Window Ledge

Another year, two
dry sticks show signs of new life
my sweet orchid comes.

Lisa Vihos