I Was No One’s Servant But My Own

 

Barefoot

I go barefoot when I’m with you

 

When you’re away

I go to the closet

and consider my shoes

 

 

Let Her Dress Herself

She wears a moon on her vest

and a cockroach on her lapel

 

She’s into every­thing

She’s a hotel for traveling extremes

 

Her mother noticed early and

let her dress herself

 

 

Serious Work Play

I mixed some chocolate in your clay

while you were away

unhappy

I was just trying to make your serious work

play

 

 

Sparrow

In December just before work I see a sparrow is the color of a tree and say,

“What am I the color of?”

 

“Anything I’d like!”

 

And storm off laughing at how simple I am

 

 

Pine Cones

Some pine cones scattered on the sidewalk

didn’t spring up as I approached

 

I really thought they were sparrows

 

 

snow bank

a snow bank drifted past my window this evening

 

i had read about this sort of thing in the movies

and seen it in books

but here?

 

there it went

right down Hamline Avenue

doing the strangest things

 

it picked up a mother

daughter and a mail truck

unbelievable

 

right to the end

 

 

A Good Mammal

A good mammal doesn’t play games

with the afterlife, a good mammal

says nothing

 

Walnuts and worms

 

A good mammal lets them all fall

thump on the ground

and mingle

 

 

Free Tibet

On a corner in Minneapolis there are two signs

across the street from each other

 

“Free Tibet” and “Free Firewood”

 

I like the idea that firewood should be freed, and not burned – but

liberated – take this wood home, please, but do not burn it!

 

 

The Rat’s Life

I am a rat that approves of the cat’s sedentary life

following sunbeams around on cool autumn days

 

Oh, to loll sleepily in my oozing pelt,

a hideous dirtball eager for petting

 

But the sun is the perfect distance from the earth

for the cat’s life we rats envision

 

One day purring under caresses

 

 

Work and Play

Work and Play were separated at birth, blindfolded

and driven in two black limousines with smoked glass windows

to the opposite ends of the earth

 

Where they were told by hard unscrupulous men

with a strategic plan that they were orphans

whom their mothers had abandoned

 

But the earth is round, and “opposite ends” means

they live in the same town, on the same street,

surely even in the same bedroom.

 

Their mother sees them walk past each other every day,

one coming, one going. She weeps, moans, and prays

that one day they will meet.