Daisy Chaining


I'm living a month behind on my rent, my phone
I think they've already cut off the hydro, cable’s next
Niggle, niggle, niggle
Slunk into the food bank the other day for some
no-name nourishment
Slunk out again with bags of clanking cans
and frozen buns
Still, now I can eat
Cashed in all the empties and rolled the pennies
Got more stamps and envelopes and streamlined my resume
Check the paper later
Sun's out today and it looks like
walking weather
So, we go for a marathon through the park
Me brooding
She wagging her tail

Maybe that last one'll click . . .

My thought train begins to shunt and shudder as I settle into stride . . .
"Editor Needed," reads the ad
I've done that job for years
No stretch at all
Good to get back in the saddle again
Stop worrying about money
Get a better apartment
One with two bedrooms so the kids can have a place
of their own when they visit
Maybe down the road away I'll make enough
to buy a house in the country, near them
Nice . . .

The thought train is at full throttle now . . .

Be good to hear the frogs again in the spring
Maybe get a few acres
Build a house instead of buying
Pond, forest, clearing for picnics and camping
Ghost stories, cookouts, rainy nights in a big tent
talking low
Meet somebody new, maybe
Ease into it so the kids understand she's no threat
Or maybe that grant'll come through
Finish the book of poetry
Get it published
Start on the next
Poetry hell
Poetry's got meter, rhyme, cadence
It's got meaning
But they buy the other stuff
So do some more
Choke back the sarcasm and write what they want to buy
Until the short stories start to sell
It'd be nice for the editors to finally
catch up with me
Realize what people want to read
Gotta be iconoclastic, sure
But give em a story, for christ's sake
Some humor
The ink I've seen wasted in the name of art
is shameful
But once my last three pieces are done
I'll have over a hundred and eighty pages
Easily enough for a first collection
Sell that and start on the novel
And that thing with the radio adaptation
could pan out, too
Set for life, there . . .

We emerge from the park onto the street
Ah hell, who'm I kidding
It all rushes back in a deep drawn breath
But she's still wagging her tail
Grateful for the walk
Loving my magnanimity
Ohh christ, just let me get through
another week
I can sell the TV, I guess
Pawn my rings
We reach my apartment door
And I wonder what's in those food bank bags

©RG Liberty