The Sweeper


He sweeps,
He mops,
He knows
the floor
well.

It is enough
for him. Or
so it seems,
but not for
me.

He is not
the one who
is jealous.
I am.

Are his
longings as
unknown to
him as they
are to me?

Everything
she drives is
bigger than
she is.

Her endless
energy comes
from a
greater
source than
her
ever-present
iPod or so
you’d think.

Bucket
loaders as
big as a house,
forklifts
whipping around
the factory floor.

Empty this.
Fill that. Move
this, clean that.
She doesn’t
tire. She does,
and does, and
does some more.

Does she have
hidden desires
or is her music
enough to soothe
her soul?

I’m weary. My
mind never rests.
It wonders and
wanders and
seems to lock on
why.

Sad news today.
Israel mourns
the brutal deaths
of three young
boys and asks why.

I ask why. Lord,
why do I ask why?
How much more?

A forklift rattles
by. She is here;
I’m elsewhere.

I ask and a single
thought enters
my mind
suspended above
all others.

The sweeper sweeps.

Electronic Intimacy


“What’s on your mind?”
greeted me from the
quick draft window.

I decided to read before
I write, so I scrolled
through the reader to
see what I’ve missed.

Then I read you. I read
your pain.

I went from nothing on
my mind to your pain
on my mind.

(Not my pain, for a change.)

Blog comments applauded
your writing. Rightly so.
But said nothing of the pain.

I follow you but hadn’t read
anything for a while. I wasn’t
sure about what I was seeing
so I read more.

You wrote poem after poem,
then came grief and loss, and
you wrote some more.

You jumped from childhood
memories, to sickness, to
death. A lifetime of memories
in a few poems with a month
of poems in front and behind.

How can we console or be
consoled when we cry
electronically?

Electronic intimacy isn’t
real. No more real than
reality TV shows.

I felt your loss deeply.
But that doesn’t matter.
We have to feel our own
losses and work through
them. Not around them.

I left a comment.

But that too I fear was
electronically inadequate.
Nor did I intend for it to
be electronically correct.

Because I care for real.
You’ve touched my life.
I wanted to touch yours
from afar.

But not electronically.

Savage Laughter


There are three flies
staring at me.

From the outside of
the window looking in,
they don’t move.

They laugh. They know.
They know they can
and I can’t.

Now there are four.
I laugh. The fourth
one laughs. They told
number four.

Said that I can’t.

My hysterical laughter
fills the small room.

Not true. A smile with
no teeth turned into
hysterical laughter in
my head.

My laugh gets louder in
retrospect.

It is my season of can’t.

Can’t go.
Can’t stay.
Can’t sleep.
Can’t stay awake.
Can’t go forward.
Can’t go back.
And many more.

This season of can’t is
setting fire to my hopes,
my dreams, my life, so it
seems.

Fueled by days of must,
that begin and end in
the dark. No life at
either end.

Must do this because
doesn’t stop. Can’t.
Can’t you see?

“Waiting is water
for the soul.”

That’s what I told the
four before I laughed
with savage laughter.