It Don't Mean Nothin
I woke up today and while I waited for the kettle to boil I compared myself to these pale, dried flowers.
It was cold downstairs so I sat where the sun first hits the couch.
The cat knew it too and jumped on my lap -
steam curled from my coffee and his yawning mouth.
I read that Mary Oliver died.
I stopped caring if I was pretty.
I walked outside and stood on the ice in the blinding sun and cried.
I split some logs for the fire - watching the wedge creep right down the middle until they broke apart. There were snakeskins stuck to the bark - but no snakes. Where were they now? I dragged the Christmas tree to the compost. I’ll miss those bodies too.
I looked up “What did Mary Oliver drink?” maybe later I’d have a toast.
She drank every morning of Blackwater Pond.
I drove to the store for lamp fuel.
I thought of this story I’d read about a soldier in a trench under fire who would close his eyes and visualize every part of his mother’s body and repeat to himself “It don’t mean nothin.”.
A truck parked beside me
with a dog in the cab that looked like the reincarnation of my one and only pup who died two years ago.
His woman went into the store and I stared at him and my stomach churned.
He looked at me and didn’t care.
But he’s got those same cowlicks on his haunch.
The same knob on his proud chest.
That lone whisker sticking out from under his chin.
Look at his nostrils flare
The same the same the same
while he presses his nose into the top of my smeared window trying to get a whiff of where she’s gone
and when she’s coming back.