Wednesday, December 08, 2010

The Training

They tell you
what to say
and how to say
what you say
without seeming
to be giving
without being
intrusive as the lone
warbler in the holly
singing its heart out
at four AM.

They tell you
the best thing
you can do
is listen,
let your ears
white porcelain
gods, black grates
spread across
the wide divide,
the softness
of a summer
lawn, echoes
inside a tunnel.

They say:
you make a plan,
set goals, make
certain the goals
are reasonable--
lay the blueprint
kind of thing--
as if you are designing
a city and need
to know
where to place
the subdivisions,
the shopping malls,
the grocery stores--
but the shady alley,
the worn couch
in a dark
the new bed,
sheets twisted,
body entangled
in the messiness
of living.

How many of them
work the front line,
I wonder, as I choose
a doughnut I don't want,
coffee I will drink
from necessity, make
small talk with others
who know, too,
the salvation of small
talk and bad food.

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