Thursday, April 14, 2016

Portable Concrete Mixer, a poem for National Poetry Month

Here is one of the twenty new poems I challenged myself to write as a celebration of National Poetry Month. 

Portable Concrete Mixer

I don’t think I’ll ever be dumb enough to go to work everyday.
What life is better? Tying boot laces at 5 a.m. and sipping
Squalid truck stop coffee, or this pond life, playing on the wet bank
With mason jars full of tadpoles fat as Buddhas?
The frogs are right--rest in the sun or jump and hide until
All danger passes.
                        Father calls and I quit my squat,
Running to him because I’m not a frog, but a boy.
He’s behind the arborvitae hedge where something’s missing--
The portable concrete mixer used to stand just there,
Sagging on leaf springs, hitch propped on a stack
of wooden blocks, grass that had grown tall underneath it
Yellow as frog thighs, wheel ruts deep and empty and leading
Across the backyard to the gravel driveway, hidden from view.
                        What did you do with my stuff, I asked.
The treasures I collected and hid in there? Yeah, alla them
Sticks and shit you stacked up in the engine housing?
I threw it on the burn pile and tossed the rocks in the fire ring.
Uncle Dick sold the engine for a song and scrapped the mixer,
You gotta help me hitch ‘er up and haul ‘er over to his house.
                        Now stop acting like a little kid, we got work to do.
                        And we did.