2023 Poems May-August Poem List
Crucible at the Kitchen Table Print this poem only
The dad raised his voice
to the bill boy on the phone
whose voice was somewhere
between ice and arrogance
in a banal “sorry, it’s policy”
quoted from the script of the Beast
who printed his paychecks.
Dad’s sudden shout at Goliath’s young buck
was heard across the room by the baby
whose eyes were then wide with fear
and a flow of tears…
now a little less innocent.
Dad hearing her cries
with shame and regret.
Regret for so loudly blaming the call-guy
as powerless as he.
But what’s a dad to do
here in this small crucible
at the kitchen table
of deafness and disdain?
Written 6-2-23 `
Shiny Box Print this poem only
The old man stooped down
in his veiny swollen-knuckled hand
a box smaller than a tennis ball
wrapped in silvery paper
the child took it
raised it to his ear and shook it
no sound at all
without a thought he cast it aside
and turned away in a desultory stride.
Even at this young age
the silent shiny gift bored him
as did the kindness toward him
he seemed unaware
of the elder there
or his value
not worth even a smile
or a flicker of respect.
if this was a child
too much presents
or not enough presence.
And what was in that shiny box?