Two Poems

Morning at Walden Pond

Because no sunrise is a rerun, 
no day quite like another, 
he built the cabin, grew the beans, 
set up three chairs, a bed, and table. 
Sat in the doorframe and let the breeze 
swallow him. Sometimes whole days 
with no language but the old woman's voice 
which was never one, but many, in chorus or contest. 
Water lapping the rocky shore. Birds, fish, cicadas. 
The scrape of knife on whittled sapling.

Not to say I’d take it up, not this round. 
But I get it. Dew on the window, 
the cat almost awake at my feet, the blinds lit 
with a glow not there when I closed my eyes 
the night before. The wonder of rotation, 
revolution. How it happens without us. 
That it happens, when it happens, within us. 

Drill and Disaster

So you get the memo. 
The tornado drill will happen 
at 10: 40, this morning. You wait, 
like you used to, for recess. 
But this time, no kid stuff. 

This time, they've told you 
when the drill will happen. 
This time, they trust you 
to follow the plan. 
To know which stairs to take, 
to remember to open the windows, 
to move efficiently. To not panic. 

To put your hands over your head 
and to understand that this, 
like school, is only a rehearsal. 
That this, like all trial runs, will 
never prepare you for the real thing, 
but only for the next drill. 

Which is okay because drills 
are the best disasters: traumas 
that never happen, catastrophes 
you plan for. Between the memo 
and the siren you know 
when it will hit and what you'll do: 

Crouch and kiss your own knees, 
slow your pulse, breathe deep. 

The Adirondack Review