[Still more poetic musings from our own banjo-uking poet, Carmen Leone—enjoy!]
Going out of business.
The shelves are nearly empty now,
Like some folks I know.
Marriages and friendships fall apart
faster than one can keep up,
everyone looking for that happiness
that has eluded them—
till now, they desperately want to believe,
At the nursing home
we gather around her.
She quietly picks at the food on her plate,
as we visit with each other,
catching up on all the events of our lives.
Smiling, she hears only herself chewing intermittently.
How strangely the fallen brown-pink leaf
wraps its crisp corpse
around the still green blade of grass.
Around the dining room table,
we strum three guitars, a tenor banjo,
a fiddle, and a stand-up bass.
We sing to an imaginary audience,
and our many aches and pains
take seats in the very last row,
chattering and ignoring the music.
The fat hose blows insulation into our attic.
as we below contemplate
how we might insulate ourselves
from our own wintry conditions.
At the wake
all life stops,
as we bide our time waiting, waking.
After the funeral
life will resume,
catching back up.
The letter that matters
sits inside the mailbox,
the cake that matters in the oven,
the dead man in his coffin,
waiting to be (respectively)
perused, devoured, justified.
I love these days when
there’s absolutely nothing to do,
and I feel confident in the morning
that I can get it all done by nightfall.
When I think of Heaven
I think of it as Sunday dinner,
where no one’s missing,
no one’s being missed.
We are the men who monthly,
after clichéd greetings,
sit at tables waiting for our food,
reciting stories from our glory days,
trying to forget for this brief hour
our desperate, brittle, sad, and aching bones.
I bought a Jesus, dirty, sweating,
smelling slightly bad from the heat,
ragged, hungry, confused.
But he wouldn't fit on the dashboard of my car.
© 2009-the present