Day 103 – Time to Be

I don’t notice the mountains anymore
though they’re right in front of me-

driving to work straight facing a miracle of nature.

I hear sounds but I don’t care
where they’re coming from,
I have time off but I don’t feel
much relaxed.

There are Christmas flowers, scarlet and white,
all dead in the window, still

and I wonder when it happened
that I stopped having time
to be.

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Day 63 – Saturday Nights

Saturday nights
with gunfire in the background
a bed full of paperwork
typing and typing
and counting
the days ’til Christmas
the days ’til this program is over
the days ’til my body has healed
the days ’til all this work has paid off

Saturday nights
with Chinese takeout
Mucinex and the TV remote
Dwight Schrute and a grading pen

One day I’ll be taking my vitamins again
drinking water and hitting the gym
visiting museums
contributing socially

instead of writing snot-filled poems
and sinking to sleep

Year 2: Day 79 – The Day After Christmas

And the Grinch’s big heart,
on the day after Christmas,
shrank three sizes back down
like it never even happened.

Something had changed,
though he didn’t know what,
the radios were back
to playing their smut.

There were still so many needy
but no one cared anymore,
the red buckets were gone,
no more bells at the door.

Buying candy canes at Walmart
for half price, he felt adrift
in a sea of ungrateful customers
returning their gifts

and like it happens every year,
they’d finally noticed what they’d spent
and though holiday cheer was fun,
they still had to pay the rent.

In fact, Christmas didn’t seem
to have changed an awful lot-
life hadn’t really improved
despite the presents they’d got

and so the Grinch went back to work,
back to his selfish past
to learn his lesson again next year,
a lesson that wouldn’t last.

Year 2: Day 70 – Santa, Bring Me A Husband

Santa, bring me a husband,
that’s all I want,
like the commercials on TV.

He must love cats
and he must hate dogs,
must hate anything blueberry-flavored.

He must be willing to salsa
but not to wear flowered shirts
because that’s just not attractive.

He must be able to fit
at least eleven jumbo marshmallows
in his chubby-bunny mouth.

He must speak a second language
but not speak it to me
or expect me to be impressed.

He must insist on paying for dinner
except when I want to pay,
but insist even still after that.

He must have strong opinions
and love to argue
but never disagree with me.

He must have style but NOT
from a catalog-
y’know, kindof that rustic,
just-put-together,
rolled-out-of-bed,
didn’t-really-try
but-totally-nailed it look.

He must love cats-
did I say that already?

He must be great at relationships
but not have many exes
or any kids
or really any pets
(unless they’re cats.)

He must watch soap operas with me
but not because he WANTS to,
must help with all the housework
but not because he HAS to.

He must not be allergic to cats.

He must not watch porn,
must not smoke or drink
or vote Green Party
or suck at chess
or like Thai food
or own a yoga mat
or drive a crappy car
or wear flip-flops.

Santa, I know I ask you this every year
but I really do deserve it this time.

Year 2: Day 63 – Last Christmas

Last Christmas was nothing to write home about.
(We didn’t send a camel with any urgent news
because there were no emergencies.)

We didn’t have family in from out of town-
good thing, because there’s never any room
at the inn.

I didn’t get a present last Christmas;
in fact, the taxes were raised and I lost
two extra sheep.

We had a tree but we used it to make a table,
we sang but it was for a funeral march,
we ate but it was the usual fish and bread,
and we prayed and waited, like every year,
for a Savior.

And this Christmas, we got one.