William J. Neumire
Mine has never taken a slow shower,
or talked about his dreams in the morning
over coffee and something sugary that remains
sweet between the teeth until afternoon.
He has three records, and listens to the songs
like good poems that mean something different
each day. He is religious in the way that anyone
who has hurt for someone else must be.
He enjoys walks on tracks that never carry
trains, but still hold anxious air.
His hands offer so much that no one ever asks him
to talk. He’s never read a book, and I love him for that.
He is old and knows all the stories the way
you know song lyrics long after the music has stopped. He sleeps
In a fraction of his bed and remembers when his father shot the cow
in the front yard to feed six children until a job came. He remembers
his first day at the salt factory and the tour where
they said, under this lake is a deep vein of salt so big it could
supply the world for 250 years. He thinks about that when
he throws 80 lb. bags across the room: his cozy children
speak calmly but have never held anything
they could lose, or been hungry and ashamed to say
they never went to school, or learned to swim
and surfaced knowing there is no way to explain what
they have found in the water, and below that
in the salt that lies deep, and provides.
Brockport, New York
Adirondack Review, Poetry Midwest, Zuzu's Petals, 2River, AugustCutter, Blue Mesa Review, Melange, Pierian Springs, ThreeCandles, Stirring, etc.
Resonance of Kin (forthcoming from 2River View)
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