|FOUR-AND-A-HALF TO SIXTY-FOUR
If we could live our lives
so that each moment
is the culmination of all our moments,,
then someone writing, fat chance,
our story could use
that moment as a final sentence,
supposing, that is, he knew the
skinny, which they rarely do,
and even if they do
would we recognize our acts
after the writer has misconstrued
the significance of his noted facts?
Even for those who are on the lips
of millions for generations,
we know little of how they lived.
It's morning time. Time
to get up,
he says to me,
as I lie here supposing too much,
and I know it's time to brush my
and soap my balls and comb my clean
wet hair while ignoring the mirror.
Suppose our work could live on
after us. Would it be us?
And as soon as what we make is
from our hands, our lips, our sight,
it is no longer ours, those surviving
but what others can make of it
to use or abuse for their own
purposes, not what we thought
we meant, or meant, at all-
and is any work the whole of us
or its tangible consummation, supposing
of course, the word could last
Obscurely, we live in remembrance
a year or two. With a few
we last until they die.
Let's make biscuits and gravy
this morning, I say.
See that wheat weaving on the
If they grind those seeds
between those hairs on the heads,
it becomes this white poofy
With baking powder, soda, and salt
and each of us cutting-in Crisco
with a fork and adding milk
how we live with pressure
surrounding us always, pressing
always, despite being invisible.
He chooses to outline his hand
and cut, for practice, around it
and glue several together
to give to his mother-
that ancient desire for personal
like the handprints on the walls
After that I tell him,
You can paint with your fingers,
or we can play pick-up-sticks.
Then we water the flowers
and fill the bird feeders with
and he probingly plays with a long
If, for some reason, I could live
each moment as the culmination
of my life and at the same moment
make it the first of a new life,
if, as my mother says, I could
that kind and tender a character,
I would die an intelligent human
But we have a whole day
of happiness to accept.
and baking mounds of the goo in
with bacon and eggs and strawberry
we can eat breakfast.
If we could live in such a way
that every moment of our lives
would be both
the consummating, final moment
and, at the same time,
the initial moment of a new life-
but that fantasy isn't possible.
One course recedes into the past-
a plot, a rhythm, a pattern.
The other course leaps toward the
searching for meaning, rarely
looking back, the summary facts
from others being prone to autopsy.
Today, I tell him, we
with toothpick struts, an avocado
seed in water and see if it
Today, we will make a parachute
out of string, a hand a handkerchief,
and a smooth stone you find
in the drive.
And I will explain how the pressure
of air can billow things up
and rock them slowly to the earth,
And I have information, routines,
consistency, and security
to pass along in the midst
of uncertainty and mystery.
The babies have left the bird house.
A fly is difficult to swat.
And we have hands to wash
and teeth to brush, here and now,
and peeing to be done together
with comments on size
and the difference between boys
before we lean back on pillows
and listen to crickets and read
with questions and comments
on each limited page-
a happy satisfaction
with what there is,
as the nature of this day darkens