OUR MARRIAGE IS THE SIZE OF OUR MARRIAGE
It is improvised & rambling, the screen door broken,
the pipes rattle, the shingles are loose;
the bedrooms are stacked with broken drawers:
some are filled with chocolate, some smell of sour milk.
Some of the rooms wear broken toys,
like jewels on a shelf, some have closets
stuffed with Eeyore impersonators,
Our marriage can’t find a stapler, a paper clip,
a pin cushion or a pair of scissors;
it misplaced its billfold, lost its driver’s license,
but listened carefully as the English-accented guru
on the GPS described the route home.
Some marriages reach the finish line in a month
& are quickly on a bus looking to race in another town,
but this one, in cut-offs and mismatched socks,
keeps rounding the track,
a hurdle at a time.
This marriage has an un-mowed lawn
with milkweed blooming
in the corner of the rose garden.
This marriage came with a recipe for dandelion wine.
─after Jane Hirshfield
“A MIND IS LIKE A CAGE FULL OF BIRDS,”
Socrates said. Hummingbirds, I think,
imagining tiny wings fluttering behind my eyes,
but at my age (70 dogged years), I don’t confuse
a flurry of feathers with accuracy:
yesterday I wandered through a supermarket
in search of an ingredient for a favorite recipe,
remembering only that it began with T. . .
Tabasco?. . .Tapioca?. . . Tiger balm. . . ?
and failed to notice the bundles of thyme,
smelling of earth, dewy fresh, artistically
arranged in a nearby produce bin;
and in conversation, reaching for the name of a park
I visited last summer, I retrieved Yom Kippur─
Yosemite, with its clear streams and sequoia groves,
secreted in a dark corner of recollection.
One-hundred trillion synapses make up
the human brain, like knots─someone said.
Perhaps the mind is not a wire cage,
but macramé: square knots, full hitch
& half hitch ties, fashioned by a deft artisan ─
If true, please, God…Yahweh? ( Omnipresent she?)
loosen some bonds, tighten others, until
nothing can escape & an octogenarian
might prevail. Cormorant
or chili con carne; Porsche
or peanut brittle. I’ll sort it out.
Life, feathery in my hands.