RWB Workshop Poem of the Week – April 29, 2015

Janet Kolstein

Don’t Eat the Daisies

Quietly to myself,
I was humming Please, please don’t eat the daisies
the way old men whistle nameless tunes,

adding another mantra
to the long soliloquy
that spools itself in silence;
tumorous words, and worlds, lost
when the host dies:

haunted people holding films
that show their insides
stop-in for a cup of soup, a sandwich
before, or after, the portentous news
of the doctor’s views.

The shamans can see right through them —
through to the other side.

In my mind, I repeat mulligatawny as a crutch
until it just rolls off my tongue,

and I’m trying to be a saint,
to feel tough tenderness,
to celebrate, and elevate
the patterns of pedestrians
and the shapes shadows make
as the sun crawls across the city,
the life being given me,
trying not to cling
too desperately.

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