Monday, June 09, 2008

We Buy One More Day

She purchased three sections of 6x6 Cedar
privacy fencing for her yard. One is propped
against the maple, whose branches have weathered
the storms of a drunken great-grandfather
and four tornadoes, whose proximity to the property
line is just a tangent, whose presence now leads
her to believe she can no longer hear the night
noises--the dogs barking, the drug deal going down,
descending within earshot. Another one is placed
on the hosta path that leads to the shed she and her beloved
erected, a teak rocker placed upon it like a king's crown.
She tells me the comfort she feels sitting there in the shade,
rocking away in the chair her husband loved. The third
has found its home beneath a table and four chairs,
a tiki umbrella protruding from the middle, shading
only one half of the table half of the day. These purchases
have bought her more than they appear to be worth--
a night's sleep, no bugs on her feet, a shady place
to rest a weary body, but I don't get it. I want to say
the words which formulate in my mind and dissipate
in the early afternoon heat, how one little piece
of fence won't stop the noise, how the bugs will simply
crawl over the wood and find a way to touch your feet
no matter what you do, how the rocker sat for years
on the ragged earth without complaint and looks no worse
for the wear, but I just tell her about what I bought:
two new bras and a package of panties, a new dog toy
and some treats for Molly, the cordless phone with caller
ID so she'll know who called, a bag of heart-healthy nuts
for those of us nutty enough to believe its all about how
and what you eat, who keep finding one more reason
to invest in longevity, as if longevity had no mind of its own,
as if in doing these things one of us could prove we tried.


james said...

ahh, you're back, and it's so fine! wonderfully drawn characterization and locale, couple with very moving ending.

how about maybe purchased for bought, only because of buy in the title --

so good to see you at work again, maggie.

Maggie said...

Hey you! Been a long dry spell here...mostly don't have the heart to write down any of what I've been thinking...I worry so much about hurting someone's feelings or causing more estrangement from certain people than already exists, and in that worrying, I can't bring myself to write what I need to and want to write.

I hope I will one day realize I have the right to write, even if some of it is painful for someone else to read.

I had "purchased" in the original title, then I changed the title, so I think it would work fine and add more sonically ot replace "bought"--I would then have "purchased", "privacy" and "propped" (and proximity and property)--

I use the word "purchase" further down in the poem, but I'm not one of those folks who think you can't use the same word twice in a poem...I know if you do, the word is supposed to carry a certain amount of weight, but I am not going to worry 'bout that either.

Think I'll change it now...thanks, jim, for reading me and believing in me...

Bet you feel you can rest a bit now that the book is out, yes?

And it is so fine! I read some from it each day.