April 10, 2008


This is a poem on the back of the credit card slip
It can't help itself
It had to come into being
even though the meal is over and the dishes
cleared away
The poem is overwriting the check, crowding out the numbers,
elbowing its way past the clicking of the machines that
make perfect copies on computers
It has a lot to say; it scrambles over the TV screen and
spills onto another slip, the one from the post office
We are not commenting
The poem must have its way,
past the waitress pushing up the aisle with glasses of wine
past the crowds cheering the basketball players
The bread and butter lie in their beds, untouched
the poem hovers and falls, like a small leaf
in an errant wind
Who is listening?
The bird on the fence?
The man at the bar who had one too many?
Flip a coin.
Will the poem land again on a piece of pink paper?
Will it bounce, like the basketball
and fall in a dark corner
hidden by dust?
or will it rise again
speaking in tongues
above the earth where we find ourselves
breathing with the clouds
thin as the air

—Alice Pero

Posted by dwaber at April 10, 2008 01:52 PM