A hundred years have flown like
and still the heart wind is a silent thing;
I charge myself with forgetting
to finger the pulse of pain
and be a blood bag for its cause.
Sweaty, drooping like a willow
widowed by our leather wallets
on the street, a homeless family
passes time by selling beads.
Childish fingers work the strings
as if they sense some fantasy
of prayer will reconcile their fate.
I think of lucky childhoods
where Mother posted crayon portraits
of the moon on humming fridge.
Food was there, just sitting, waiting
for a tongue to choose its candied calcium.
The reach of hunger stands before me.
Even in unsated state, it is a lyric verse
from God I ought to read but set aside.
As Scripture says, "foxes have holes,
and the birds of the air have nests;
but the Son of Man hath not where
to lay His head." I ought to be
erasure stubs for tragedy beyond my own.
Run a spell check on my morals,
find them gutted by mistakes.
Lions of this Narnia are splayed
on altars of my mind; action naps
so lazily, insulated by the ease.
I carry groceries from the car,
plan another useless poem,
push a button, down the door,
treat them like a cavity that stings
a second, then departs.
Janet I. Buck is a two-time Pushcart Nominee and the author
of four poetry collections: Calamity's Quilt, Reefs We
Live, Bookmarks in a Hurricane, and Before the
Rose. Her work has been published in The Pittsburgh
Quarterly, CrossConnect, In Motion,
The Animist, Pif Magazine, Riding the
Meridian, Born Magazine, Kimera, and
hundreds of print and internet journals world-wide. Buck has won a number
of literary awards and in April, 2000, her work was featured at the
United Nations Exhibit Hall in New York City. To read more of her work,
follow the links at: members.aol.com/jbuck22874/whatsnew.html
E-mail Janet I. Buck at