CLARITY

There are those occasional moments
of clarity that appear without warning
and are, as quickly, gone.
We expect them less as we age
and they oblige us by staying away.
Children assume them, and are
rarely surprised, as though
they see them coming, need no warning
and have no expectation
anything will come of them.
Expectations grow proportionally with age
and patience diminishes apace.
The child understands all of this
with the same fascination she has
for a soap bubble, as she watches
each float away on the breeze of time.

HOPE ETERNAL

First day of the new year
and there seems an almost
palpable malaise that things
are not suddenly different,
as though the turning of a page
on the calendar might somehow
set us and world events
on a radically different course:
the fool would become wise,
the sage would smile knowingly
and all that to which
we have grown so accustomed
would morph or disappear.
But there is a full moon tonight,
so perhaps tomorrow
will be the day we all
eagerly anticipated today,
or, just perhaps, a black cat
will lead us beneath the ladder
and down the thirteen steps
to the ever-present home
of misbegotten expectations.

MOTHER

 

I called my mother the other day
and she did not answer, which
she would always do when I called.
The dead, I concluded, no longer
play by the rules they did
when they were still alive.
Of course she will call me soon,
disrupting my sleep, and chastise
me for not trying again.
But she will quickly slip into
reading the list of what
she expects from me, for
either living or dead,
mother’s expectations must
always be met, no matter what.