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Category: Poem-A-Day 2013

POEM: Vaccine

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Vaccine

In the college coffee shop this morning, a trivia question:
Which disease did Joan Salk create a vaccine to fight?
Dozens of faculty members answered the question.
None pointed out that it was Jonas, not Joan.
Or is it me who doesn’t know the whole truth?
Did Dr. Salk, years after developing a cure for polio,
decide he’d had enough of the charade and make the
change he’d secretly been longing to make all those years?
I picture Joan Salk sitting in her office, talking with
fellow researchers about her pioneering work. Those
who were young enough might not even have known
about her past, just accepted her as the brilliant woman
she so clearly was. Maybe after saving the world, she
felt it was time to save herself.

7 January 2013
Auburn, AL

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POEM: Like A Good Neighbor

From My new apartment

Like A Good Neighbor

So now I’ve become the neighbor
who enters through the back door
like a character in a sitcom, or
stands just outside the front door
to steal a wi-fi signal with my phone.
But at least I’m somebody’s neighbor,
which is a big step in the right direction.
As of today there are blinds on the
glass door in the living room, so all
my wild debauchery is hidden
from the casual observer.
You know, all the dancing
to Stevie Wonder and Talking Heads
and watching movies from the 80s
and sitting on my weird carpet couch
writing poetry in my notebook.
I’ve seen neither spider nor fly
in my parlor, and I’ve yet to sneak in
a cat, so for now I await the pet rock
I was promised by the artist next door
and I talk to my electric kettle.
In this world, that seems as normal
as anything else. You should come over.

5 January 2012
Auburn, AL

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POEM: that he finds delight

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that he finds delight

in what we would otherwise ignore
is a blessing that shouldn’t be
taken for granted

every hat is a laser hat, every shirt
a suit of magical armor
no finger sword can pierce

he sheds identities like snakeskin
one moment he’s a ninja, the next
a secret agent, then a superhero

lifted into the air by adult hands
he is flying (not being carried)
as if gravity has looked the other way

he reminds us there is beauty in
the here and now, in the world-as-it-is
if we’ll only stop for a moment to look

4 January 2013
Auburn AL

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POEM: letter to [ ]

letter to [ ]

I send you incomplete truths
little notes that don’t say
everything I’d like them to

there’s something about you
there has been ever since that first
spring day in New York City

since then I’ve been listening
inspired by the strong and selfless way
you move through the world

I think you’re one of the most
beautiful women I’ve ever seen
but there’s no way to say that

and no point in saying it anyway
not from all the way down here
where I didn’t even wear a coat today

3 January 2013
Auburn, AL

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