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Grieve for the life you thought you’d have
said the TV doctor in a PBS fundraiser

is it my sister’s life
much like my mother’s
a home with grandchildren under foot
an idea of how the next years will unfold

ever notice bits of good keeping on
even while much else has gone bad
when the kitchen catches fire
and the landlord says pay up
the dog’s brows furrow in worry
the neighbor leaves nasty notes
and we blame each other for being bad listeners
even the centipedes eye me with doubt

but for the first time my fingernails
grow long

while we poke mud and sticks
in the cracks of our world
an artist creates animals and fairies
from mud and sticks on the river bank
just so any someone might see them
and know there is good

and when all the clerks in the store
sour their faces
and the volkswagon woman with the “Give Peace A Chance”
bumper sticker flips me off
and a longing begins for a cave with a few throw pillows
I stop at the light by the city park
and a tiny prairie dog runs to the point of the median
too little to be alone
then his mother pops from a hole
and scolds him to return

mama’s love rebel babies
 another good and right thing

I took the wrong street once over and over again
found a hairdresser with gentle hands
who spoke only Spanish

once my hair was cut by a Ukrainian
who found joy that my middle name,
Alice, matched her daughter’s
only she and my mother cared so about for Alice
 say it and feel it glide from the mouth
like the word sluice
sluice - an artificial channel for a flow of
water that is controlled by a valve or gate-
almost the same as a mouth saying Alice

the Ukrainian hairdresser saw me in the sandwich
shop in Southend-on-Sea where I stopped
on my lunch break to buy a sandwich
with corn in it which didn’t seem right
but the mother of Alice kissed me on both cheeks
so sweet and so good

Posted October 9, 2011 by strongjacksonpoet54

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