Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Two Poems: Joyce Snyder


The day started reasonably enough. I woke up,
turned on the stereo for music to dress by,
boiled water, let out the cat.
No, wait, I don’t have a cat. That was a dream.
I made the bed and opened the curtains to the sun,
reaching for the highest within,
to wrap around me like a day cloak.
(Another lie. I never make the bed.
I was trying to impress you with my neatness.)

It’s when I get to work the inner weeping begins.

My new computer password is scrawled on my desk,
a secret for the world to see.
I accidentally disconnect a conference call to France.
Everyone’s stupid it seems, including me.

I’m hungry. I eat my lunch at ten.
By noon I’m famished with a hunger food can’t reach.

The cleaning lady is upset.
Someone threw a perfectly healthy plant in the trash.
Will I save it?
I look at the plant, its roots exposed.
It too, is shocked and confused.
I repot it, trim it, give it love.
I need string to tie its branches
so I ask the Indian engineer I have karma with.
He puffs with power because I ask a favor.
He’s very polite, very obliging.
I snarl inside.

Life seems sometimes
to have a persistent theme of foolishness.
What, after all, does all this mean?

If, as they say, there is a Divine Plan
and everything is as it should be
right down to the chirping of a bird,
how can I doubt that my own insignificance
too, is part of this?

* * * * *


Change came to the door and because it knocked, I opened it.
Oh, Change, I said, No thanks, none today.
It tried to put its foot inside,
but I was quick.
I blocked it; sent it on its way.

Change came to the door with a bouquet of flowers
and thrust them forward for me to take.
There’s no occasion, I smiled, it’s not for me.
I pushed them back while Change
nodded knowingly.

Change came to the door and I opened it.
Change smiled and I frowned.
I told you before, I said somewhat irritably,
I have no need for what you bring
I do not wish to change a thing.

The door burst open with a ferocious blast
and a thunderous crack.
The more I fought the more it blew me back.
It knocked me down, it brought me to my knees.
Change was so insistent that I finally agreed.

Change came to my door; I heard the knock.
I opened it slightly and peeked out.
Oh Change, I said, my love.
I embraced it and took it in,
I held it, I made it mine.
I married it, became its wife.

~ This is Joyce Snyder's first appearance in Elegant Thorn Review.

No comments: