Posts Tagged ‘narrator’

Chapter Two

So when the narrator of my life

told me she needed a vacation,

what could I say? She was tired,

she said, and wanted to get away

for a while, preferably somewhere

with a beach and no children,

no poems, no dinners to make, no

lawn to mow. And oh, by the way,

she said, when I come back,

my rates are going up. Of course,

I said, wondering about the present

rate, and just how much I already owed.

Oh yes, she said, and while I am gone,

keep it straight. Present tense only.

No highfalutin’ language. Just the facts.

And spell everything correctly.

Even since she’s been gone, I have

this strange feeling that nothing’s

ever happened. And nothing ever will.

And that I am some stranger I’ve never

met living in a place I never knew.

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While digging
in the garden rows,
my son looks up
from his work
of ripping apart a clump
of roots and says to me,
Mom, how could
anything ever go wrong
with this day,
and I think,
my darling,
you teach me
so beautifully.
There are days
we forget that life
will unfold for us
if we let it.
It’s not that nothing
could go wrong.
Of course it will.
But if we are not
the heroes of our
days, rather the narrators
who notice and relate
all the events,
whether cheerful or tragic,
with equal interest,
well then even
the wrong things
are right. As it is,
he does not step
barefoot on the hoe
with its spikes
turned up nor do I
hobble to the house
with a back too sore
to stand. And the day
unfolds as some days
do, with nearly nothing
to report except the
some clouds, the sun
still gaining—and
a mother and son
got the planting done.
Nothing to show for it yet
except the smile on my face
and the dirt still under
his fingernails. But I have
to admit I am glad there was
nothing painful or difficult.
And on this day, my son
is the hero of the poem.
And I can watch his mother
typing out her joy as if
I am not the same woman.
Between these two view points,
there is a garden. I walk
its rows. I bring it water.
What grows is what will grow.

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