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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

turned red

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                          `

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Crucible at the Kitchen Table

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.


I wondered

if this was a child

of abundance

or neglect

too much presents

or not enough presence.


And what was in that shiny box?

Written 5-25-23

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