Donald Morrill

 

 

Poems By Donald Morrill

Enemy Infant

Let's talk too much...

Shim

 

Shim

On a street where walking
means you’re crazy or for sale,

a man on foot waved
a white flag tied to a twig.

My surrendering side
still drives around his block,

part of the rush hour where
we grow up and try to live.

In these times, I hear a name
banished from a collegial mouth

and wonder, Is this us,
vagrants on judgment’s stoop?

In crossed legs of seated officials,
I see heartbeats kicking slightly.

The sky seems the same
horrid headline as last year, the mirror

a petition for change I’ve inspired
but refuse to sign. Once,

under a house propped on jack posts,
the boy who used to be Yours Truly

swam in dirt, his mother above him
on a ledge of grassy twilight,

magnanimous in her permission.
I remember that between

the floor joists and each post,
wood shims, cobbled on the spot,

helped to level up the house
poised for a new foundation.

A home in air. And a boy beneath,
refreshed and blackened

by his imagined ocean!
So simple to swim in our dirt, as dirt…

From that man waving his dead branch,
what answer would solve us?

They day floats like a house
needing a shim to be righted,

words, deeds, we offer—
sometimes gracefully—or withhold,

keeping things uneven,
to ourselves.

 

 

From AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SKY (Mid-List Press, 1998)




 

 

 

         
    Poetry Center Reading:
    Spring 2011