Two More by
Michael Craig

A tray of cold drinks arrived and we had a chance
near the end there to just lounge around
and talk quietly with one another.
A few of us walked our pets on their leashes
before handing them over to be loosed on the hillside.
It was a sad time for everyone, a time
when all our insecurities were surfacing, and yet
the Anderson girls pulled together,
offering tremendous support and snapping us
with towels, making many of us laugh.
Mrs. O and the pastor Menno Simons stood
on opposing balconies and quietly
undid their robes, dropping the sashes down
into the fountain. It was calm then.
The closing hymns were sung and it was over.
The ponds were freezing slowly over
and when I looked around
not a leaf was left
on the trees surrounding the compound.
The glass doors opened.
Someone removed my canvas brassiere and I stepped gently out
into the deafening orchard.

The Au Pair,
On Barbiturates
A taxicab passes along the curb
and empties a puddle onto
the young jogger.
A caterpillar takes a breather.
A wet leaf stuck
to a plastic pickle bucket
looks like a lion standing on his hind legs.
I see it all through my little window

and long to float out
from this cave like a haunted Afghan,
to hover near you, to rub noses but
my mustache won't fit through the bars.
Mother used to say never
eat anything bigger than your head.
I slump back into my chair. It is Sunday,
and a shaft of sunlight touches my saucer.

--- From Can You Relax My House
©2002 Michael Earl Craig
Fence Books
14 - 5th Avenue, #1A,
New York City 10011

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