Thursday, May 24, 2007

Yer Birthday

Title from Casper & the Cookies (MySpace)

The reason I didn't call you on your birthday

is that when you speak, the power of your voice

pounds the skin from my bones and

makes my teeth rattle like a firmly-flipped Franz

in a game of Guess Who.

But that power isn't mighty and bone-crushing

like Thor or Zeus or my grandfather.

It's calm and earnest,

almost as serene as the Sacandaga Reservoir,

like the expressionless tone in which I was told,

"Toby was hit by a Ford doing forty.

His ribs exploded and popped a tire.

You should've kept him on a leash."

Or maybe it's a stomach-turning sweetness

of snack time and lollipops and Mrs. Langley

who used to delight in telling 1st graders,

"You'll have to wait to use the bathroom!"

She stopped smiling after a liter of urine

found its way to the carpet during story time

and I had to see the nurse for a change of pants.

But I ended up being sent home early

because the nurse didn't have pants for husky boys

and I didn't call you on your birthday

because remembering how you sound

sends a chill through every layer of fat and loneliness

and fond childhood memories

from the time I was a husky boy.


Anonymous said...

I really like your reference to "guess who?" I like it all, but that was my favorite. I guess I just "get" your poetry. I'm usually not a big fan of poetry.

Tmyakal said...

Well thank you. I'm glad you liked it. Especially if it's not the sort of thing you'd ordinarily like.