Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Robert Lavett Smith- Two Poems


Just as it’s said that evil is banal,
Sorrow is finally quite ordinary:
Another chapter in the same old story,
Its disappointments unremarkable.
Our narrow little lives are dark and small,
Worn thin with weather and familiar worry—
And if we’re given more than we can carry
Nothing around us really cares at all.
There is a sullen quality of light
Emily surely would have understood
That clings like rain to the torn hem of night,
A cosmic dissonance that bodes no good.
We lack the means to set the matter right;
Perhaps we wouldn’t change it if we could.


The hospice nurse thinks Dad
may have had a stroke, since
his pupils aren’t the same size,
although Mom suspects this
could be only a residual result
of cataract surgery several
years ago. Abruptly, his blood
sugar, checked on a whim,
tops 700, but an insulin shot
does nothing to bring him
to himself. Once again the family
begins a death watch, for the sixth
time in less than a year. He’s grown
unresponsive, if not actually technically
comatose. Then, the following
morning, he’s alert and talking,
and the whole process repeats itself.

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