Friday, December 19, 2014

Martha Deed

They're dying now

it's a parade
the bad guys
going to their graves
the one who groped
the one who called me a kidnapper in front of my 6-year-old child
(I was not a kidnapper, traveled with the court's permission)
(Did the child ever fully trust me again?)
the brawlers
the bureaucrat who sneered at poverty as if it were affluence in disguise
the nurse who gave the wrong medicine wrongly

Do I gloat when I read their death notices?
I do not
but cannot deny
a weight comes off my shoulders
I have been carrying these bad guys
making sure
they were far away
for a very long time


On Discussing the Purchase of a New Bird Feeder Whilst Having the Flu

He tells me
he will install the new suet feeder in the yard
at a favorable location for viewing the birds
and squirrels who will feast therefrom

all of which is clear until he says

This new suet feeder is different from the old one
because of the hole
This hole distinguishes the new feeder
from the old one that had a chain
which made it particularly convenient
for squirrels and restocking
This hole, however, is rather subtle
in its meaning and entirely escapes
my powers of comprehension in this fevered state
From where to where
or through what
or where situated
the whole suet feeder is a block of holes
but this hole
appears to be more significant
than the holes I am accustomed to
in suet feeders ‒ I am
bewildered and perplexed
He compounds the equation
I seek to solve by introducing a scientific word:
two flanges, in fact
The only solution I can find is a hug
remembering when – in providing directions
on the Thruway – he launched into a brief
(well, not so brief) exposition on its construction
and how to get between the uncompleted sections
which – in any event – were not on my route.
Raising the question along the way
as to whether it is safe for a women to talk
like this or only men?


Clearing Out

He wrote "Personal Stuff" at the top of the page
a memo sheet from the company he retired from 13 years ago
by this he meant "Facts for my Obituary"
knowing he deserved an obituary
not anticipating the fight his feisty daughter
would be forced to undertake
to get it printed


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