23.5 Degrees

It is not inconceivable
some smeared and blind thing,
like hail or perhaps some top spun
cue ball, maybe some blunt
beaked bird wary of our passage,
or a bullying stone,
unchaperoned in a spiraling sandbox,
or a slap to the back of the head
by the swift palm of a correcting mother
for some thoughtless remark –
a child’s tongue unrestrained…

A child’s tongue unrestrained,
naive, precessed, tethered
and dragged, star-eyed and still
reeling because I said “hell”
in Hecht’s men’s department
on a Thursday, because I didn’t
want peas, because I wanted
pudding and said “hell”
and she smacked me,
just stiff enough to tilt the axis,
just enough to shake loose the leaves,
freeze those vanilla puddings.
Yes, that must be the reason for winter,
the start and wobble of all things northern,
cold-shocked by the sun’s glancing blows.

Image: Guillaume de Germain on Unsplash

2 Thoughts

    1. Thank you, Peter. And may I say the same. I’ve been reading and re-reading your “Nights and Days” poem today and finding such deep sadness there, knowing that there will come a time when I or she will be alone – as everlasting love is not and never free.


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