RWB Workshop Poem of the Week—October 23

RWB Workshop Poem of the Week—October 23

Frank Rubino


And how do I define ‘pretty good morning?’
Picked the wilted cilantro leaves
off the cuttings in the water glass.
A bee kept approaching, hovering.

When I stepped back, it sampled, found no
pollen but then came back again, so I wondered about
the bee’s value system, how it kept getting fooled
into thinking the cilantro was a flower. It flew off.
I picked some yellow arugula leaves from the planter,
the driest ones, but all the rain lately means
the leaves aren’t seared by drought, so why yellow?

And how do I define ‘bad year?’ The year
2012. Gil, Gloria, and Dad died.
Fallen trees, pulling down lines, breaking houses:
Sandy left us without power for weeks. It was cold,
greasy and always twilight in the house.
That was the year, too, when Ryan
suffered their most acute
body dysmorphic disorder.
Oh back in that bad year 2012,
my father looked at my thirsty tomato
plants, and he advised scribing
irrigation ditches in the dirt. They had yellow
leaves like this arugula.

One finch keeps returning, the brave one
with the scruffy head. He learned I would
not hurt him and stayed faithful all week long
while I filled the seed dish, and it incited
various disputes and squabbles amongst established friends.
And some of those bird friends did not return though I poured
Kaytee Wild Finch Blend, and the Mourning Doves
declined, perhaps got tired of winning?
(They are the biggest, and they push the others away.)

Wrote my poetry. This has to be included as a good
activity, but why I value it I have never known,
as why any creature values existing over not.
Is that a cricket chirping to Bose, Satie’s Gnossienne?
Here we are in this house made of popsicle sticks.
I’ll get up. I’ll walk. I don’t know why on earth
I headed for the room I’m entering.


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