Daily Archives: March 5, 2018

I Wake Up In Despair

Revision.  Posted originally in April, 2016.

I wake up in despair most mornings.
Each day slants uphill.
It takes everything I have to climb it.

I wake up in despair most mornings
but find comfort in knowing 
things that no Pharaoh can know;

how, for instance, to pick myself up
without an entourage to help me; how in fact
to get by with no entourage, neither in celebration

nor in sorrow; how to fall down back-broken
and get back up again next day for another round
with nothing but what’s in me to pull me up.

I wake in despair most mornings. Each day
bores me: sometimes with a dull drill, sometimes
with a chisel of same and same and same again.

I wake in despair most mornings 
but find comfort in knowing
things that a boss can’t know, or has forgotten;

how to do the dirtiest bits of a dozen jobs, for example;
how to take the next step when it’s time, how to 
fix the broken piece, how not to fail

from seven AM to lunch, how to stay awake
from lunch to three PM and longer
if three PM becomes 5 PM or later.

I wake in despair most mornings knowing
how little of my life is open to me, based on
how much time I have to spend recovering from the rest of it.

I wake in despair most mornings
but I can almost get to glee in knowing
what a king does not, what they may never know;

how to run riot in the streets to spite all my aches and pains,
how to run riot in the streets with all the others aching and pained,
how to run riot in the streets knowing how little time I likely have.

I wake and run riot knowing that ahead of me, somewhere
cowering, somewhere hiding behind mere walls, 
a king, a boss, and a Pharaoh are themselves in despair,

filled with the knowledge
of their lack of knowledge
about anything that needs to be done,

and in spite of the odds and the guns
and the war any of them could muster,
I no longer share their despair.

Ghost Apples

Look at you lamenting
the disappearance of apple pie.

Sitting around all day cussing
the bad apples you have to work with.

Muttering about the past, the crust,
the way it used to be.

No one talks up old-fashioned apple pie 
like someone who thinks

the only good apple
is a ghost apple.

Those good apples, you say,
made great pies.

You can till taste them 
if you try.  We need to bake them

again.  Need better apples.
Need a sturdier crust.

Make apple pies great again,
you say. Get rid of the bad, bad apples.

I’m a good apple, I promise, one
fallen far from your tree,

and I don’t want to be
part of any pie although

I’m as American
as you know what.

Keep longing, keep
imagining old-fashioned flavor.

Those ghost apples will leave you
hungry, famished, starving,

strangling on dry crust.
Meanwhile, I’m doing fine

on a diet
of what’s in front of me,

not on what’s long gone
and left behind, 

and there’s not a bad apple
in sight.